One of my neighbours developed cough and fever. He is a patient of asthma. He went to a nearby pharmacy and brought medicine that he used to take previously. Instead of visiting health facilities or a doctor he adopted this method. He had taken the same medicine that his doctor had prescribed him earlier. But this time it did not work. When the situation became uncontrollable finally he was rushed to a nearby hospital for a thorough checkup. He got relief only after he took prescribed medicines. This is an example as to how dangerous self medication could be.
Self-medication is a wrong practice and even then it has been a most common practice in managing health problems. Self-medication, at times, invites serious consequences. But in our context, it is commonly seen that people experiment with different types of medicines without consulting medical experts and doctors. Due to lack of awareness about the serious consequences of self–medication people opt for such practice.
Financial constraint is one of the main reasons that keeps people away from doctors. As such they find it easy and cheap to go to a pharmacist and buy medicines rather than spending time and money for the appointment and other lengthy procedures that one needs to undergo for various tests after seeing a doctor. There are many others who shun doctors as they fear they would not be able to cope with the situation in case something comes wrong with them.
Thus, apart from financial conditions, psychological and procedural factors are also equally responsible for preventing people from approaching a doctor and seek his/her advice. Though National Drug Policy bars selling medicines without the prescription of doctors, pharmacists seem to be involved in such illegal practices openly. To check this unlawful act and wrong practice the government should come forward with a strict policy and implement it thoroughly so that the sale and haphazard use of medicine could be checked. At the same time it becomes the responsibility of the pharmacists to observe medical ethics and think twice before selling medicines without prescriptions.
Though awareness programmes are being conducted it is yet to reach the mass. It should be conducted so that people are aware about the health hazard and severe consequences caused by self-medication. The tendency of selling and purchasing medicines by producing old prescriptions should be stopped completely.