Letter to editor - Does the right of a doctor to prescribe a branded drug without informed consent of the patient constitute a violation of patient's rights?
AbstractA significant percentage of our patients coming for medical treatment have to pay for the cost of their drugs, as out of pocket expenditure, since they do not carry any medical insurance cover, whether private or state. Therefore, an important question that arises is whether patients are receiving adequate information from their treating doctor regarding the prices of the various brands of drugs that are available in the market in context with the drug prescribed to them. The Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 20021 states that every physician should, as far as possible, prescribe drugs with generic names and he/ she shall ensure that there is a rational prescription and use of drugs. It also goes on to state that it is not unethical for a physician to prescribe drugs as long as there is no exploitation of the patient and this should explicitly state the proprietary as well as generic name of the drug.