Docs can now prescribe psychiatry drugs through video-consultation

Many patients are not getting such drugs without prescription due to the lockdown, said a doctor

Doctors from Kerala, Maharashtra and Haryana had moved the Supreme Court, challenging the validity of the Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000. Photo: iStock

The recent modifications in telemedicine practice guidelines has now facilitated doctors to prescribe certain drugs used in psychiatry through video-consultation. The guidelines were modified in view of the ongoing nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Directive in this regard was issued by the Board of Governors (BoG) vested with the powers of the Medical Council of India (MCI).

A health ministry official said that with the unavailability of a hard copy of prescription due to lockdown, patients suffering from neurological conditions will be able to purchase certain psychiatry and neurological drugs online with the soft copy prescription.

“The Board of Governors in super-session of Medical Council of India in discharge of their special responsibilities prescribed under guidelines 6.1 of telemedicine practice guidelines makes the following modifications in ‘medicine lists’.

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“The following medicines shall be added to list A, of medicine lists after the existing entries: drugs used in psychiatry practice such as phenobarbitone, clobazam and clonazepam as first consult and as well as follow up,” the public notice read.

According to Telemedicine Practice guidelines, List A medications are those which can be prescribed during the first consult which is via a video link and are being re-prescribed for re-fill, in case of follow-up.

“Due to lockdown, a majority of patients are not getting these anti-anxiety neurological drugs without doctors’ prescription. Even regular OPDs are not functioning. As a result, the patients were facing difficulties,” a doctor said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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