Of bad practices

Like other fields of human activity, practice in medicine too has its dark sides.

Many allopathic drugs banned in the country of origin for serious side effects continue to remain freely available in Pakistan. What is worse, our general practitioners do not keep themselves updated even on some of the most frequently prescribed drugs and continue to prescribe them.

Injections are meant to be given only when the patient is unable to take oral medication. But in our country, there is a false impression that injections work faster; hence their unnecessary use. 95% of injections are administered due to either ignorance or greed of the GP. In most cases, one syringe is used without proper sterilization to give injections to a number of patients. One of the main modes of the spread of blood related viral infections is such an irresponsible use of syringes.

Misuse or overuse of anti-biotics is another ugly aspect of medical practice. The practice is so common that even in viral illnesses such as common cold where anti-biotics do not work, doctors routinely prescribe anti-biotics without having a second thought.

A good number of specialists are given inducements by pharmaceutical companies for prescribing their line of products. Depending upon “performance”, the specialist can qualify for a “study tour of a foreign country” or  “a round-trip with family to a tourist spot within the country.” In the race to edge out competing colleagues, our specialists prescribe costly and heavily promoted agents as first line of therapy to push up sales of their benefactors’ products!

Ordering unnecessary laboratory tests is yet another area where cooperation between the doctors and the laboratory owners leaves the patient high and dry.

It is high time, the patients learnt to question the rationale of whatever they are told to take and do by their physicians.


Of bad practices in homoeopathy

Most of what appears under “Of bad practices in medicine” also holds true for homoeopathy in Pakistan.

What is more is the advertisement spree by some self-styled homoeopaths-cum-manufacturers of homoeopathic medicines. They advertise all type of stuff through newspapers under the label of homoeopathic products with claims to “permanently cure” some of the most common medical conditions such as acne, obesity, infertility, baldness, shortness of height, etc.

Promoting medicinal products through false claims constitutes one of the most heinous crimes in civilized societies. Not so in Pakistan. In Pakistan, “Homoeopathic products” are being marketed in a way as if they were consumer products. There are lucky draw schemes to promote their sales. Incentive prizes ranging from PCs to motorcycles and cars are offered through lucky draw coupons. In the madding race for grabbing a greater share of the market, even the ethical companies have not been lagging behind! Study tours, Umra packages, gift schemes, calendars, are but a form of bribing homoeopaths to prescribe the medicines of their benefactors.