Millions of patients don’t consult physicians before buying medicines: Experts



Millions of patients do not consult any physician or healthcare professional before buying prescription medicines for treatment of different diseases in Pakistan, senior health experts said on Thursday and urged people as well as physicians to adopt ‘evidence-based medicines and interventions’ for the treatment of both communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

“A large number of people in Pakistan, approximately around 25 percent, take prescription medicines without consulting physicians. The abuse of medicines, especially those known as antibiotic drug is very common in our society and it is making these medicines useless against many infectious diseases”, Prof. Javed Akram, Vice Chancellor University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore told a news conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Thursday.

Accompanied by senior most professor of Medicine in Pakistan Prof. Dr. Eice Muhammad, Secretary of Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM) Dr. Somia Iqtadar, Prof. Aftab Mohsin, Prof. Zaman Shaikh, Prof. Dr. Aziz-ur-Rehman, Dr. Farhan Essa and others, Prof. Javed Akram said they were holding a three-day annual conference of PSIM from Friday in Karachi to promote evidence-based medicine in the country.Prof. Javed Akram maintained that medicine was rapidly evolving in the world and based on new research and studies, new therapies and interventions were emerging in the world but unfortunately, even may of the physicians were not aware of these advancements in the field of medical science, especially in the area of medicine.

“In a country where every second adult in hypertensive (having high blood pressure), 25 percent population is diabetic and over 40 percent children are either obese or overweight, it is imperative evidence-based medicines and interventions are adopted and prescribed to patients to lower the disease burden from the society”, Prof. Akram maintained.

On the occasion he informed that 3rd Annual Conference of PSIM on the theme of ‘Adopting Evidence-Based Medicine’ is commencing tomorrow in Karachi, which would continue till Sunday, during which 92 scientific sessions would be held and latest research in the field of communicable ad Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) would be presented.

“We are also going to launch the Evidence-based Medicine Journal and an App to search the appropriate treatment, intervention and medicine to help physicians in prescribing evidence-based medicines for their patients”, Prof. Javed Akram added.

He said in addition to equipping physicians with scientific knowledge, they were working for ethical training of the physicians and health professionals, saying at University of Health Sciences (UHS), doctors were being taught Quran in Urdu language while recommendations of their conference would be published and disseminated among physicians throughout the country.

To a query, he said although Pakistani pharmaceutical industry was largely a ‘packaging industry’ instead of a manufacturing industry, still it was providing quality medicines on affordable rates to people and added that some of the sessions at their conference were aimed at teaching medical ethics for the physicians and healthcare professionals.Another senior office-bearer of the PSIM Prof. Aftab Mohsin said of the 1 billion injections given to patients in Pakistan, over 90 percent are given unnecessarily and added that laws were needed to prevent the exploitation of patients in Pakistan.

Prof. Eice Muhammad said medicine is a noble profession, and it was practiced by the prophets including Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), Prophet Essa (Jesus) Peace Be Upon Him and several other prophets and urged the physicians to consider their profession as a worship for the betterment of their afterlife.

Eminent diabetologist Prof. Zaman Shaikh, Dr. Somia Iqtadar, Prof. Aziz-ur-Rehman and others also spoke on the occasion and urged physicians in Karachi to attend the 3rd Annual Conference f PSIM being held at a local hotel in Karachi from Friday to Sunday.