Prescription is a written instruction given by a doctor to a patient stating the name of the drug(s) and instructions for its use to cure a disease. In Nepal, only medical doctors registered under the Nepal Medical Council, have the right to prescribe such drugs.
A drug is a chemical substance that, on entering the human body, brings about certain changes in the body that decreases the ill effects of the disease, provided this used in a proper way. In case drugs are used not taken in the accurate quantity (dose) at the right time in the precise form, the consequences can be grave, fatal even.
Even while using the correct dose, the effects could be disastrous depending on the reaction of body’s defence mechanism to the chemicals in the drug. Moreover, each drug comes with many “side effects” — the unwanted effects produced by the drug in addition to its desired action.
A medical doctor acquires knowledge about drugs, be it its pharmacokinetics (onset and duration of action, absorption, distribution, metabolism and its elimination), pharmacodynamics (the mechanism by which it brings about its action on the body),
adverse reactions, interaction with other drugs or food, indications or “exact” doses.
On this basis, only those health professionals who have a comprehensive knowledge of the drug and its proper use, should prescribe a drug to a patient.
The present controversy about who is eligible to write a prescription is not as simple as it looks. Writing a prescription is not simply jotting down the names of few drugs on a piece of paper. Along with it comes a huge responsibility of taking the risks of any effect that might occur after the drug enters a patient’s body.
A good prescription can even be viewed as a bond given by a doctor to his patient that the disease will be cured after drugs are taken. A person prescribing a drug should always be able to explain not only about the effects or the side effects of the drug, but also what should be done in case any unwanted effect occurs.