161 petitions

Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to World Health Organization, Mental Health Association for Pakistan, American Psychological Association, British Psychological Society, United Nations Development Program

Against Medication without Doctor's Prescription in Pakistan

Self medication is described as an act of procurement and consumption of medical drugs without the advice of medical physician for diagnosis, prescription and surveillance of treatment. There is a paucity of literature with regards to self medication among rural dwellers of Pakistan and no initiatives have been taken to resolve this issue. The government must ensure that medicines containing a “controlled substance” are sold only after the buyer produces a prescription by a doctor, pharmacists, doctors and drug manufacturers agree.Pharmacists say certain drugs are used by addicts for ‘recreational purposes’. According to Health Department officials, most of the people who have died after taking cough syrups Tyno and Dextromethorphan in Lahore and Gujranwala have been drug addicts. “All those who died after taking the syrups were chronic drug-users,” the officials said.   Talking to The Express Tribune, Professor Mubasher Ahmad, PhD in Pharmacology from Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University of Wales, UK, and College of Pharmacy faculty member, said the government should ensure there was a qualified pharmacist at every private pharmacy. “In developed countries, a qualified pharmacist guides patients on how to use a medicine and what could happen in case of overdose,” he said. “In Pakistan, a majority of people cannot read what’s written on the medicine bottle. They need to be informed what amount of a medicine can be harmful. All medicines cannot be restricted to prescription as many poor people take medicines directly from pharmacies as they cannot afford to consult a doctor. Medicines that have controlled substances, however, shouldn’t be sold out without a prescription,” he said. “People should have firsthand information about the medicine. Many drug addicts use cough syrups, but, in some cases, other patients may also overdose themselves hoping to get early relief. They should be informed how much they are safe using,” he said. He said a bronchodilator used in many cough syrups triggered drowsiness. He said dextromethorphan, which soothed the brain, was also used in preparing many cough syrups. Community Medicine Assistant Professor Shahid Malik said pharmacies were not supposed to sell medicine having controlled substances without seeing a prescription, but things in practice were different. He said the Health Department should monitor pharmacies more closely. Punjab Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association (PPMA) Export Committee Chairman Dr Riaz Ahmad said dextromethorphan was present in many cough syrups. He said it was not a controlled substance in Pakistan but was enlisted in many countries as a controlled substance. Self-medication is highly prevalent (84.8%) in Karachi. It was frequently used for headache followed by fever. Predominantly painkillers, fever reducer and cough syrups were used in the form of tablets and syrups. Main source of medicines for males were friends and for females were relatives.

Sara Ismail
6 supporters
Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to Devendra Fadnavis, Maneka Gandhi, Jagat Prakash Nadda, Honourable Minister Smt. Pankaja Gopinath Munde

Stop feeding formula milk to newborns without the parent's consent #MyBabyMyDecision

During the nine months of my pregnancy, all I was waiting for the day that I could hold my baby in my arms. There is no better feeling in the world for a mother than the first time you feed your baby. All I wished for was to have a healthy baby whom I could hold in my arms and feed. But my wish was not respected by the hospital where I delivered my baby. When my baby was born, he was kept in the NICU for observing his sugar levels. During the time he spent in the NICU, he was fed formula milk. I was not informed of this and my consent was not taken by the hospital. If I knew that my baby was being given formula milk, I would have never allowed for that to happen. There was a milk bank in the hospital and my baby could have been fed human milk during the early stages of his life. I later realized that what happened to me is a very rampant practice across the country. Especially when a mother is recovering after a C-section, or when a baby is in the NICU, many hospitals just go ahead and feed the baby formula milk, without informing the mother. Our government has spent crores of rupees in advertising about the importance of breastfeeding. Many of you may have heard radio and TV ads about the thick yellow milk that a lactating mother produces is crucial for the baby’s long term health. But the hospitals, especially the private ones, make tonnes of money because they get discounted formula milk dabbas from the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture them. The moment the baby is born, they open a new dabba and start feeding the baby. That dabba is then given to the new mothers to take home with them and the cost is added to the bill. And all of this is done without the consent of the unsuspecting mother who is tired after delivering the baby.I know quite a few mothers who’ve had a tough time switching from formula to breast milk. That’s why I want the government to tell all the hospitals to get prior consent of the mother before feeding a newborn formula milk. The hospitals ask for the patient’s consent for every small thing. They make you sign so many documents before and after the delivery. And yet the doctors chose to give my baby formula over human milk. Without my consent! Why? Luckily, my baby was in the NICU only for a day. Had he been there for a longer time, I cannot even imagine how hard it would have been for me to wean him off formula. Join me and sign this petition to make it mandatory for doctors to educate new parents about the benefits of breastfeeding and breast milk and ask for their consent if at all, formula needs to be given to their baby. Breast is not just the best, but also the biological norm! #MyBabyMyDecision  

Jincy Varghese
46,515 supporters