Chemists and patients most of the time find it difficult to interpret physicians' illegible handwriting. Doctors have now been asked to write prescription in capital letters and also put down the generic names of the drugs prescribed.
Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, Indian Medical Association said, "The Union Health Ministry is bringing in a gazette notification to the effect soon after which the rule will be applicable across the country."
Though it may mean 'a little extra work', doctors have welcomed the move saying that it is worth the effort if it helps patients. "The move is in the best interest of the patients, but in an environment where any doctor at any given time is flooded with patients, this system may take a little time to get used to. We have already started using the generic names of drugs and this we feel has contributed to reducing the total bill of patients since it allows them to buy drugs that are more economical," said Dr. Anil Bansal, Delhi Medical Association.
Meanwhile, the Center had amended rules in the Indian Medical Council Regulations, 2002, directing physicians to prescribe drugs with generic names in legible and capital letters.
Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda earlier agreed with concerns of some parliamentarians that illegible prescription by doctors may lead to serious implications and even death in certain cases.
"The doctors across the country will be educated about the latest change to ensure that it is effectively implemented and that patients are benefited in the long run," said Dr. Aggarwal.