In India, there is no time limit for the validity of a prescription. However, a prescription remains valid only for one course of medication. Once a patient has consumed the medicines for the prescribed number of days, it is recommended to follow up with the doctor. The follow up is necessary because a disease is a dynamic process where the parameters change with no warning or no set time schedule. It is possible that a particular dose that worked earlier may not work later. During the follow-up, the doctor will check the condition and prescribe another course of medication if needed.
Besides this, the IMA (Indian Medical Association) has suggested that pharmacists follow ethical practices as they also have an important role in dispensing medication. That being the case, IMA has released the Code of Medical Ethics to help pharmacists with maintaining ethical dispensing of prescription-based medicines. The guidelines clearly states, “A prescription requires the name of the doctor, his /her address and registration number besides the name/s of the drug/s, their potency, dosage, and duration for which the drugs are to be supplied”. Also, “Refilling of a prescription is not allowed by pharmacists unless authorised by the doctor. If the doctor has prescribed a drug, e.g., 3 days, the pharmacist cannot dispense drugs for more than this duration”.
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