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Table of Contents
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-46

Utilizing the foundation course period for sensitizing medical graduates about writing rational prescriptions


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission26-Oct-2019
Date of Decision17-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance27-May-2020
Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpaet District - 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JIHS.JIHS_45_19

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  Abstract 


It won't be wrong to say that patients trust their doctors that they can cure them of their illnesses and will take steps to ensure their well-being, with majority of them not being aware about the impact of a pharmaceutical industry on medical practice. The attitude of a medical professional towards the pharmaceutical industry can form quite early in their medical training, keeping the fact that they are exposed to an informal curriculum from their teachers or even peers. The students have to be sensitized about all this throughout their medical under-graduation period and the best place to initiate this in the Foundation Course itself. Similar things can be dealt again as a part of the Early Clinical Exposure sessions, AETCOM sessions, during clinical postings and during the internship. In conclusion, in order to stop the practice of irrational prescriptions, the undergraduate students should be trained to deal with the pharmaceutical industries within their curriculum across the entire duration, so that they are empowered enough to not get unduly influenced by the industry.

Keywords: Prescription, Foundation Course, Medical students


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Utilizing the foundation course period for sensitizing medical graduates about writing rational prescriptions. J Integr Health Sci 2020;8:45-6

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Utilizing the foundation course period for sensitizing medical graduates about writing rational prescriptions. J Integr Health Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 26];8:45-6. Available from: https://www.jihs.in/text.asp?2020/8/1/45/288691




  Introduction Top


It won't be wrong to say that patients trust their doctors that they can cure them of their illnesses and will take steps to ensure their well-being, with majority of them not being aware about the impact of a pharmaceutical industry on medical practice.[1] However, it is a fact that the pharmaceutical industry is one among the most profitable sectors across the world; nevertheless, there is a grave concern pertaining to the conflict of interest which has been existing between a medical professional and pharmaceutical company. These industries work with a solitary intention of benefiting their stakeholders and this predominantly results because of the medical professionals who prescribes their products to the patients.[2]

Need to address prescription writing

Even though, it is essential to have a constructive association between a medical professional (who prescribes medicines for patients) and the industry (which is involved in the production and marketing front), it does not justify taking actions which are not in the interests of the patients. In addition, there is a definite need to curtail the practice of irrational prescriptions, which is often influenced by the offers/gifts from the industry representatives, and this will essentially require massive investment in the early stages of medical career of a student.[2],[3]

Scope of foundation course

The attitude of a medical professional toward the pharmaceutical industry can form quite early in their medical training, keeping the fact that they are exposed to an informal curriculum from their teachers or even peers. The students have to be sensitized about all this throughout their medical under-graduation period and the best place to initiate this in the Foundation Course itself. The content for the same could range from never prescribe a new drug without evidence or practicing evidence-based medicine, avoid unnecessary drugs and prescribe those drugs which are suited best for the patient, restrict the timings of pharma representatives, and not to accept money, gifts, fellowships, sponsored holidays, registration for academic events or any kind of sponsorships.[2],[3],[4]

In addition, the students' have to be sensitized that they should not allow the representative to explain things about the drug instead the student should ask for the drug monograph, study it and then take the call to prescribe or not. Similar things can be dealt again as a part of the early clinical exposure sessions, AETCOM sessions, during clinical postings and during the internship. As the student moves in the subsequent years of the medical course, it is also important to make the students aware about the marketing strategies and all the students should be trained to write rational prescriptions by the department of pharmacology. Further, the department of forensic medicine community medicine can sensitize students about ethical issues and updates about the developments in drug policy respectively to the medical students. The medical teachers can employ different teaching–learning methods, including use of anecdotes, case scenarios, role plays, and videos for the students to understand and imbibe the involved concepts.


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, in order to stop the practice of irrational prescriptions, the undergraduate students should be trained to deal with the pharmaceutical industries within their curriculum across the entire duration, so that they are empowered enough to not get unduly influenced by the industry.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Medical professionalism in India: Present and Future. Int J Acad Med 2018;4:306-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Morgan SG, Gagnon MA, Mintzes B, Lexchin J. A better prescription: Advice for a national strategy on pharmaceutical policy in Canada. Healthc Policy 2016;12:18-36.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Yang W. How does the pharmaceutical industry influence prescription? A qualitative study of provider payment incentives and drug remunerations in hospitals in Shanghai. Health Econ Policy Law 2016;11:379-95.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Datta A, Dave D. Effects of physician-directed pharmaceutical promotion on prescription behaviors: longitudinal evidence. Health Econ 2017;26:450-68.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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