A stroke is a life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. A new study by AIIMS has revealed that both specialist and private hospitals are associated with higher prescription of ineffective neuroprotective drugs such as Citicoline, Piracetam and Edaravone in both poor and rich patients. Despite the clinical practice guidelines set by the world bodies directing against prescribing these three drugs, it has been found that over eight lakh stroke patients in north India are still being prescribed these drugs.
The two-year study of the medicines being prescribed to the stroke patients also revealed that medicines such as blood pressure lowering agents- statins, and anti-platelet agents which have been found to be effective in stroke patients were not being administered to patients.
A report from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) indicated that in 2004 there were approximately 9,30,985 cases of stroke in India with 6,39,455 deaths. The National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, India, recently estimated 1.67 million stroke cases in India by 2015.
Dr. Kameshwar Prasad, head of Neurology at AIIMS and under whom the research was conducted, said, "The reasons are yet to be studied but the speculative reasons are that often the doctors miss particular medicines due to the constant pressure on them and also they forget about it. The other speculative reason behind the issue was that even the patients are not aware of the effective medicines, which is actually very necessary."
Dr. Prasad further added, "Though the study only revealed about north India, the situation may be much more worse in other parts of India, as they were out of the direct purview of the union health ministry. Once we get to know about the total spending on the medicines incurred by the health ministry only then we can get to know how much of money is spent on buying the ineffective drugs in the country."