BPKIHS doctors asked not to prescribe unregistered food supplements

Published On: October 22, 2019 11:32 AM NPT

DHARAN, Oct 22: The Department of Drug Administration (DDA) has sent a letter to the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS) to direct doctors to stop prescribing food supplements unnecessarily to patients.

On October 18, a team from the Biratnagar office of DDA, while monitoring the pharmacies outside the premises of the hospital, found that doctors have been prescribing food supplements unnecessarily to patients. The stores were found selling more than 150 units of unregistered food supplements daily.

On Friday, doctors were found prescribing a food supplement tablet named 'Cabo Din' instead of Calcium D3 Calvit tablets to the patients requiring calcium supplements, according to the DDA. Meanwhile, Cabo Din is not registered with the DDA and costs Rs 20 per tablet, while Calcium D3 Calvit is a registered drug that costs only Rs 7 per tablet. Although Cabo Din is not registered with the department, pharmacies outside of BPKIHS were found selling it.

The DDA office in Biratnagar has sent a letter to BPKIHS to ban a total of 149 food supplements that are not registered with the department. In a letter sent by the DDA, it has also notified the same to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Ministry of Health, District Administration Office, Sunsari, Nepal Medical Council and Nepal Medical Association.

“We have sent a letter with the list of unregistered food supplements. Now, we hope the malpractice at BPKIHS will be controlled,” Sanjib Sharma Kattel, head of DDA, Biratnagar, said, adding that Section 10 of the Drugs Act, 2035 bans the sale of unregistered medicines.

On Friday, the department had directed the pharmacies outside the premises of the hospital to stop the sale of unregistered food supplements. Still, the doctors are prescribing unregistered food supplements to patients. According to pharmacies, doctors at the orthopedic department and general OPD recommend food supplements to patients.

“The department has asked the pharmacies to stop selling food supplements. But, doctors prescribe food supplements to patients. We have to sell prescribed medicines by doctors,” Pankaj Jha, secretary at Sunsari chapter of Nepal Pharmaceuticals Association said. 

Meanwhile, Pashupati Chaudhary, spokesperson for the institute, claims that the DDA doesn't have the rights to tell doctors not to prescribe certain medicines. “Doctors are monitored by Nepal Medical Council, and the doctors haven't been prescribing food supplements for the commission from companies,” he said.

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