Instruct doctors to write prescriptions in clear handwriting: HC tells government

The health ministry has been given 30 days by the High Court to issue an order instructing doctors to write prescriptions in clear handwriting, which can be read easily.

Published : 9 Jan 2017, 08:57 AM
Updated : 9 Jan 2017, 11:29 AM

Doctors are notorious for bad handwriting, that only pharmacy shopkeepers sometimes understand and often don't.

Now the High Court wants the government to issue a strong order asking doctors to write their prescriptions in a way all can comprehend, so that no one is at the receiving end for a wrong drug.

The Ministry of Health has been given 30 days by the High Court to issue an order instructing doctors to write prescriptions in clear handwriting.

It also issued a rule asking why doctors should not be ordered to mention a medicine's generic name in a prescription.

The secretary to the health ministry, director general of the health directorate and five others have been told to come up with explanations by four weeks.

The bench of justices Naima Haider and Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman gave the orderon Monday after hearing a petition filed by a rights body.

The order follows a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh last week.

The petitioners included a Banik Barta article, the headline for which translates to, 'Undecipherable Prescriptions: Wrong Medicine Putting Lives at Risk'.

The article said pharmacies have been handing out wrong medicine to patients after failing to read the handwriting on the prescriptions.

There are also complaints that doctors prescribe medicine from specific drug companies in exchange of unethical benefits.

The practice sometimes forces patients into buying expensive but low quality medicine. 

Doctors in India must mention on prescriptions the generic names of drugs, their main chemical composition, in capital letters but no such regulation exists in Bangladesh.

The High Court had issued a rule last year asking why doctors in Bangladesh should not be ordered to do the same. 

The petitioner had argued that writing generic names would allow patients more freedom in buying medicine from pharmacies.