Mar 25, 2013

Karnataka govt may permit Ayurveda doctors to prescribe allopathy drugs

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Monday, March 25, 2013, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]
Karnataka government is contemplating to give consent to the Ayurveda doctors in the state to prescribe allopathy drugs. The move, once in place, will benefit about 40,000 Ayush  practitioners specially Ayurveda in the State as they usually refer patients to allopathy doctors.

Now with this soon-to-be-announced consent from the state government to administer allopathy drugs, be it a simple anti tetanus to anti venom and coronary vasodilator, Ayush practitioners   will soon be able to prescribe the required medication before patient is shifted to a hospital, stated panel of Ayurveda doctors.

But JSD Pani, president, Karnataka Indian Medicine Manufacturers Association (KIMMA) begs to differ. “The government move is irrational as Ayurveda doctors have no understanding of the pharmacology of allopathy drugs which come under either Schedule H category or branded formulations. The syllabus for Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) does not cover pharmacology or pharmacokinetics. They have also no information on adverse drug reactions and will never be able to handle the consequences,” he pointed out.

“The government is legalizing an illegal activity which is currently rampant. There are several over-the counter drugs which are being recommended by Ayush doctors and we vehemently condemn the government move which would further increase unnecessary wrong medication practices among Ayush doctors”, informed Pani.

According to the Ayush experts, the Himalaya Drug Company’s Liv-52 a hepato-protective or  Septilin, an immunomodulator for the management of upper and lower respiratory tract infections among other drugs are seen to be recommended by allopathy doctors because they have understood and recognized the importance of its contents.

Commenting on the government move, Dr Rangesh, head- Drug Discovery (R&D Centre), The Himalaya Drug Company, said, “We have always been in support of integrative medicine, that brings together Ayurveda and conventional medicine for holistic treatment. An increased dialogue between allopathic and Ayurvedic doctors will ensure that patients are receiving the best available treatment, which will help them to lead healthier and happier lives.

It may be recalled in mid-2012, the directorate of Ayush across the country had been insisting that the state department of health and family welfare should provide the consent to doctors of Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy to use allopathic medicines along with Ayurveda by BAMS.

In this regard, there was a committee, headed by the additional chief secretary, to look into the use of the allopathic medicines by Ayurveda doctors. The committee comprised of principal secretary of Medical Education, director of Department of AYUSH, vice-chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, secretaries of legal and finance departments, members of IMA and Karnataka Medical Council.

The Karnataka chapter of Ayush Federation of India (AFI) earlier stated that it was crucial to use allopathy medicines along with Ayurveda especially in emergency cases.

“The use of allopathy is essential in rural areas, as more number of BAMS doctors serve in villages. In cases of emergency, like in case of dehydration the doctors have to administer IV fluids. During a medical emergency like a heart attack, we should at least be able to prescribe Sobitrate to help increases the blood supply to the heart. In such situation we doctors of Ayush cannot restrict to Ayurveda medicines alone,” added doctors representing AFI.

Referring to the Drugs & Cosmetics Act section 2 (ee) BAMS doctors could use modern medicines along with ayurveda practices. “States like Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu have already permitted the BAMS doctors to use allopathy medicine,” they said.


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