PMA rejects PMDC bar on doctors’ prescriptions of vitamin supplements

Press Release 10:28 AM, 15 Feb, 2024
PMA rejects PMDC bar on doctors’ prescriptions of vitamin supplements

KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) vehemently opposes the recent directive issued by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), which bars physicians from prescribing multi-vitamins and instead permits pharmacists to dispense them over the counter, saying this move poses a grave risk to patient safety and undermines the role of medical practitioners in ensuring comprehensive healthcare.

In a press release, the PMA says multi-vitamins are pivotal in sustaining optimal health and preventing various deficiencies that could lead to severe health complications. Physicians, with their expertise and knowledge, are best positioned to ascertain the suitable usage and dosage of multivitamins, considering a patient's medical history, prevailing health status, and individual nutritional requirements. By restricting physicians from prescribing multivitamins, the PMDC is jeopardizing patient well-being and disregarding the professional judgment of doctors, the PMA says.

The association argues that granting pharmacists the authority to sell multivitamins over the counter ignores the necessity of a thorough examination and consultation with a qualified healthcare provider.

It says that in the absence of proper medical supervision, patients are vulnerable to misuse, self-medication, and potential adverse reactions. While pharmacists are integral members of the healthcare team, they should collaborate with physicians to ensure the safe and efficacious use of medications, including multi-vitamins, it adds.

The PMA implores the PMDC to reconsider this misguided directive and engage in meaningful dialogue with medical professionals to address any apprehensions or potential pitfalls as prioritizing patient safety and evidence-based medicine is imperative.

The PMA says that the PMDC's directive infringes upon the professional autonomy of physicians and compromises patient safety. “Therefore, we urge the PMDC to prioritize evidence-based medicine and seek expert consultation before implementing decisions that directly impact patient care.” the press release says.

The PMA urges its members, allied medical professionals, and concerned citizens to unite in raising awareness regarding the potential hazards associated with the PMDC's directive and advocate for patient-centric healthcare practices.

The PMA stands as a premier professional organization representing medical practitioners nationwide. Committed to advancing excellence in healthcare, the PMA struggles to uphold medical ethics, champion patient rights and safety, and increase professional growth opportunities for its members, the press release concludes.