Nutrition supplements sold sans prescriptions

Most of the pharmacies or medical shops in Kathmandu are found selling nutrition supplements without any prescription of doctors.

It was revealed by the stakeholders at an interaction held in the capital on Wednesday. They said that such nutrition supplements are found being sold as medicine, but they are not registered even by the Department of Drug Administration (DDA).

They sought a strict government monitoring mechanism to control the rampant selling of those supplements. Such strict mechanism is also needed to reduce the economic burden of the patients in buying the unnecessary supplements, they said.

State Minister for Health and Population Surendra Kumar Yadav said that the multiple stakeholders need to collaborate for the effective monitoring of the pharmaceutical status in the nation.

Speaking at the interaction on ‘Rational use and distribution of Neutraceuticals in Nepal’ organised in the capital on Wednesday, State Minister Yadav stressed the need for having a separate section for maintaining quality of medicines and medical apparatus.

It is essential to monitor the quantity and quality of ingredients for neutraceuticals, said Yadav, adding that reform in working procedures was essential. Everybody should be honest as it is directly linked with the health of public and government is also responsible to implement rules and regulations, said State Minister Yadav.

There is no any data on how many types of nutritional supplements have entered Nepal without permission.
Speaking on the occasion, chairman of Nepal Medical Association Mukti Ram Shrestha said that 75 per cent of the supplements are supplied through the pharmacies while only 25 per cent are prescribed by the doctors.

Shrestha said that the supply of nutrition supplements was rampant as pharmacies were selling the medicines without doctors’ prescription.

For controlling such practices, monitoring alone is not sufficient, provisions of stern punishment are also essential, added Shrestha. He also stressed effective awareness on the use of neutraceuticals among the general public.

Dr. Aruna Upreti, a nutritionist, asked one and all to utilise the local nutritional value foods and avoid neutraceuticals. “No one should sell the home products like millet which have high nutritional value and buy medical neutraceuticals,” said Upreti.

World Pharmacists Day is observed on 25 September each year as per a decision taken by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Council in 2009.

This year’s theme for the Day was ‘Safe and effective medicines for all.’

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