New Delhi : The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo-motu cognizance of a recent article published in the media and issued notices to the Central Ministry of Health and the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). The article alleges that there are numerous drugs with similar names, leading to confusion in prescribing and administering medication for various ailments. Additionally, it highlights the lack of data maintained by officials regarding prescription errors.

Urgent Need for Comprehensive Database

In a statement, the NHRC emphasized the necessity for creating a centralized database of all drug brand names by collecting data from the 36 different drug controllers of each state and union territory. Currently, such a database is absent in the country, leading to potential risks for patients. Furthermore, there is no system in place to track prescription errors made by officials.

Serious Implications for Patients

The article underscores the grave consequences that can arise due to confusion surrounding drugs with similar names. Patients may receive incorrect medications for their ailments, posing significant health risks. It is crucial to recognize that drugs with identical names are often intended for entirely different medical conditions, exacerbating the potential dangers associated with prescription errors.

NHRC’s Call for Action

The NHRC has deemed the content of the article a serious human rights issue, prompting the commission to demand a detailed report from the Central Health Secretary and the DCGI within four weeks. Additionally, the report should outline proposed steps or measures to address and rectify the situation effectively.

Illustrative Examples

The published article on January 25 also provided examples of drugs with similar names, further illustrating the urgency of the matter. For instance, while “Linamec 5” is utilized in the treatment of a particular type of cancer, “Linamec” is prescribed for diabetes management.

In conclusion, the NHRC’s intervention underscores the critical need for systematic reforms in the healthcare sector to ensure patient safety and prevent potentially life-threatening medication errors. The forthcoming report from the authorities is awaited with anticipation as it is expected to outline concrete measures to mitigate the risks associated with drugs of similar names.


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