AIIMS international meet against unwanted prescriptions

NEW DELHI: Here’s a warning from a medical expert you won’t get too often: Do not follow your doctor’s prescriptions blindly and question whether you really need to undergo the diagnostic tests he or she asks for.

“On many occasions, doctors ask for tests that are unnecessary. Similarly, there are drugs that have become outdated or whose efficacy isn’t proven. But doctors keep prescribing them. Unless there are standard guidelines on treatment of certain illnesses, such misuse will keep happening,” said Dr Kameshwar Prasad, head of the clinical epidemiology unit at AIIMS.

With the number of cases involving unwarranted prescriptions of surgical procedures, diagnostic tests and medication increasing, Dr Prasad said patients must ask their doctor about the pros and cons of the treatment offered before making a decision.

To create awareness on the issue, AIIMS will hold an international meet — the first of its kind in the world — where experts will discuss how standard guidelines can be evolved for treating diseases.

Dr Prasad said unnecessary diagnostic tests and surgical procedures not just put additional financial burden but also affect the patient’s recovery. “We are also proposing that evidence-based treatment methodologies should be emphasized in medical schools,” he said.

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