By Priyanka Sharma
New Delhi [India], April 12 (ANI): Making changes to its telemedicine practice guidelines, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has allowed certain anti-anxiety and sedative drugs to be purchased on a doctor's online/soft copy prescription.
So far, these drugs could only be purchased on a hardcopy prescription by a doctor with his stamp.
The step has been taken in view of the countrywide lockdown necessitated by coronavirus outbreak, during which psychiatric patients are not being able to visit the doctors. Doctors say that a gap in the dose of a psychiatric patient may result in relapse or the worsening of the condition.
Dr Nand Kumar, professor of psychiatric department at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), told ANI: "The MCI has made these changes in the public interest. Due to lockdown, most of the patients are not getting these anti-anxiety and sedative medicines without doctor's prescription. As a result, most of the already diagnosed patients are seeing a difficult time."
The MCI in its notice stated: "The MCI has amended the medicine list in telemedicine practice guidelines. It has added drugs used in psychiatric practice such as phenobarbitone, clobazam and clonazepam to the list A of medicine list after the existing entries. Drugs used in psychiatry practice such as phenobarbitone, clobazam and clonazepam as first consult and as well as follow up.
Dr Smitha Deshpande, head of psychiatric department at RML hospital said that medicines such as phenobarbitone, clobazam and clonazepam are controlled medicines and are not available without a hardcopy prescription of a doctor.
"The need of the hour is that not a single patient with mental health illness should suffer during this lockdown. These controlled medicines are used for controlling epilepsy and anxiety. If patient does not get these drugs their health condition may worsen. We are expecting a high increase in the OPD once the lockdown gets over." (ANI)