National Drug Policy draft Bill not up to the mark – don



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Prof. Bibile insisted that a prescription issued by any doctor should contain only the generic names of drugs. But, the Bill says it can be generic or brand name.


By Asoka Wijewardena


Professor of Pharmacology of Colombo University Lal Jayakody yesterday said the National Drugs and Cosmetic Devices Draft Bill submitted to the Cabinet Sub Committees was not up to the expected standards.


Prof. Jayakody told The Island that the Bill lacked provisions necessary to help patients.


Section 38 of the draft Bill stipulates that "every medical practitioner, dentist or veterinary surgeon shall write in the prescription given by him, the generic name as well as the brand name, of any medicinal drug prescribed by him", but according to Prof. Jayakody it was totally unacceptable as Prof. Bibile had insisted that a prescription issued by any doctor should contain only the generic names of drugs.


Making this observation at a media conference at the Blood Centre Narahenpita on Friday, Prof. Jayakodi pointed out the draft Bill also did not contain provisions for rationalising drug use, establishing a national drug quality assurance laboratory to ensure the quality of drugs, training pharmacists and checking the conditions of pharmacists and specifying a list of duties for the Medical Supplies Division (MSD).


Prof. Jayakody said: "The Draft Bill also mentions that the Chairman of the National Medicinal Drugs Regulatory Agency should not be a full-timer.


"But, that is wrong; that important agency should have a full-time Chairman. I am compelled to make these comments as the draft Bill is open to everyone for comments, suggestions and objections. I hope my views will be taken on board."


Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that he had been carefully listening to the constructive criticism made by Prof. Jayakody and his suggestions would be incorporated into the Draft Bill. Section 38 of the Bill would be deleted and the doctors would have to write only the generic names of the drugs on the prescriptions, he said.


The Health Ministry said the intention of the government was to ensure that the rights of patients were safeguarded and it was for that purpose that it had prepared the Bill under discussion.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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