Health ministry plans central online drug registry to avoid medication error caused by similar names

  • Confusion in the names of drugs is one of the most common causes of medication error

Priyanka Sharma
First Published17 May 2024, 04:22 PM IST
There is no manufacturing and marketing of different drugs with the same brand name, or those with same pronunciation and even look alike.
There is no manufacturing and marketing of different drugs with the same brand name, or those with same pronunciation and even look alike.(Mint)

The health ministry plans to create a central online registry of drugs to ensure that different drugs are not marketed under the same name, or names that sound similar.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has told  the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks to strictly implement rules on brand names.

Confusion in the names of the drugs is a common cause of medication error among patients and pharmacists.

Also Read: Health ministry expands scheme for pregnant women

“There is a plan to restrict the manufacturing and marketing of different drugs with same brand name (including look alike and sound alike). This is being done to ensure patient safety as many times it creates confusion among the patients that two different drugs treating two different conditions are same. The matter will further be discussed in the next Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) being organised by Drugs Controller General of India,” said the official.

“The permissions on medicines were given based on generic names considering drug salt, for example – paracetamol tablets IP and manufacture used to develop in whichever name. Therefore, this confusion in drug brand name exists. As of now, there is no Central database for drug brand names. For instance- there is no way for state drug controller to verify the brand name of the drug which got permission in the past,” said the second official.

Incidents that led to medication errors

“Previously, there have been incidents where drugs used for female health, got permission for acidity control in some other state. This created huge medication errors. Due to all these issues, Delhi High Court in 2022 ordered to the DCGI that he should constitute a Central Drug database which should be accessible to all the state drug controllers and only after crossing-checking the brand name, state authorities should give permission for drugs,” said the second official adding that there is a plan to develop Central drug repository in the country. 

Also Read: New health insurance regulator may arrive faster than we thought

According to the drugs and cosmetic rules, 1940, in case an applicant intends to market a drug under a brand name or trade name, the applicant shall furnish an undertaking to the licensing authority a similar brand name or trade name does not already exist.

Queries sent to the health ministry spokesperson remained unanswered till press time.

 

END

 

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First Published:17 May 2024, 04:22 PM IST
HomePoliticsHealth ministry plans central online drug registry to avoid medication error caused by similar names

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