This is about the following circular being issued by the MCI.
However, the clause 1.5 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 has been amended in 2016 and notified in the Gazette of India on 21.09.2016, which reads as under:
“1.5 – Use of Generic names of drugs: Every physician should prescribe drugs with generic names legibly and preferably in capital letters and he/ she shall ensure that there is a rational prescription and use of drugs.”
1. Use of Generic names of drugs: Means the chemical name of the drug
2. Every physician: Means all doctors registered under IMR
3. ‘should” means discretional and non-mandatory
4. prescribe drugs with generic names: Means writing chemical name of the drug
5. Legibly: Means readable (does not mandate electronic writing)
6. and preferably (where ever possible and is non-mandatory)
7. in capital letters (pertains to the chemical name)
8. and he/ she shall ensure that there is a rational prescription and use of drugs means this part of the clause is mandatory (shall)
B: All the Registered Medical Practitioners under the IMC Act are directed to comply with the aforesaid provisions of the Regulations without fail.
IMA observation: To follow the above in its letter and spirit
C: You are requested to give wide publicity of the above regulation to ensure that all the doctors practicing medicine under your jurisdiction comply with the regulation.
IMA observation: IMA needs to disseminate this information.
D: All concerned are once again urged to take necessary steps for observance of the aforesaid provision of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 in its letter and spirit.
IMA observation: same as B.
E: For any doctor found violating clause l.5 of Ethics Regulation, suitable disciplinary action would be undertaken by the concerned SMC/MCI.
IMA Observation: Only the mandatory portion of the clause can be actionable. The prescription shall have rationality of treatment and the drugs prescribed. The non-mandatory initial part of the clause can-not lead to action by SMCs as it is discretionary.
F: “should prescribe drugs with generic names”: It does not write “only with generic
names”. It does not prohibit a doctor from writing the name of the company or the brand.
Fir example when writing a generic name, we need to write the word ‘Jan Aushidhi’ in the prescription otherwise he or she will not get the cheapest quality drug etc.
This classification may kindly be circulated to the SMCs to avoid any misunderstanding in its interpretation.
Dr KK Aggarwal
National President, IMA
Shall or should