PMA for lifting of ban on physicians prescribing multivitamins

Press Release 04:51 PM, 18 Feb, 2024
PMA for lifting of ban on physicians prescribing multivitamins

KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has expressed serious reservations regarding a recent notification issued by the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, which prohibits physicians from prescribing multivitamins to their patients, seeking its withdrawal, and taking medical professionals on board in this regard.

As the representative body of a significant portion of healthcare professionals countrywide, the PMA underscores the importance of granting physicians the freedom to prescribe appropriate treatment options for their patients. Physicians possess the expertise needed to make informed decisions that prioritize patients' health and well-being, it says.

While acknowledging the necessity of regulatory measures to safeguard patient safety and prevent medication misuse, the PMA argues that a blanket ban on prescribing multivitamins could have a significant impact on patient care. These supplements play a vital role in maintaining overall health, particularly for individuals with deficiencies or underlying medical conditions, it asserts.

Moreover, the PMA points out that existing guidelines and protocols already govern the prescription of multivitamins. By prohibiting physicians from prescribing them, the notification undermines their professional autonomy and hampers comprehensive healthcare provision, it says.

The association argues that the decision to allow pharmacists to sell multivitamins over the counter bypasses the need for thorough examination and consultation with qualified healthcare providers. This raises concerns about incorrect usage, self-medication, and adverse reactions. The PMA stresses the importance of pharmacists collaborating with physicians to ensure the safe and effective use of medication.

The PMA urges the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination to reconsider this notification and engage in constructive dialogue with medical professionals to address their concerns. Patient safety and evidence-based medicine should be a priority in decision-making processes, it says.

The notification's impact on physicians' professional autonomy and patient safety is of significant concern to the PMA. Therefore, the association calls upon the ministry to consult with experts before implementing decisions that affect patient care.