Bad medicine

Recently, the government, in order to regularise the practice of ayurved in the country, requested the entrepreneurs dealing in ayurvedic medicines to undertake a two-month training. The training as claimed by the Department of Drug Administration was an attempt to upgrade ayurvedic practice in Nepal to international standard. However, entrepreneurs turned down the request, citing that the government treated amateurs and professionals in the field alike. As ayurvedic practice directly pertains to public health, the endeavour made by the government to train the dealers in the field is appreciable in that the training would help improve the standard of ayurvedic services available in the country and also make these more reliable.

Surprisingly, the government has made no endeavour to make it mandatory for retailers of allopathic medicines to undertake similar training, though allopathic drugs are more commonly used by the patients and have far greater side-effects. This has also resulted in most of the retailers dispensing and sometimes even prescribing the wrong medicine. The provision of waiver may, however, be considered for experienced dealers in ayurvedic medicines who may already have had some sort of training. The government must not only make it compulsory for all the retailers of medicines, ayurvedic, allopathic and so on, to undertake the required training but also regularly monitor them to ensure that dispensaries are run by qualified chemists and ayurvedic experts.