Over-prescription of medication is a challenge faced by any public health organization in India. In Fakir Bagan, mothers expect that they will receive at least three medicines including at least one antibiotic for most illnesses, no matter how mild the complaint may be. There is likely to be a relationship between the pharmaceutical company and the doctor, and therefore it is mutually beneficial to prescribe as many medications as possible. Because this system has been in place for many years, a mother is now unsatisfied if she visits a doctor and does not receive an antibiotic for her child’s runny nose. These are obviously generalizations, but the challenge of minimizing the role of unnecessary medicines looms large. We have been working with several doctors and public health professionals to narrow the list of CK’s regularly stocked medicines, and to make sure only necessary prescriptions are issued.
In the two weeks since we started significantly minimizing unnecessary medicines, there have been several unsatisfied beneficiaries. Our hope is that the majority of beneficiaries will realize that they have more time with our doctor and that she really is giving good quality medical advice, even if it does not include antibiotics. – Dora Levinson