The Australian Health Care Department has made a national legislation change in the health care system of the country, which is termed as active ingredient prescribing. Under the new ruling, doctors will not be allowed to prescribe medicines by their brand names anymore. Now, the prescription will list the name of the active ingredients of the drugs rather than the brand names. This legislation change has been long overdue for Australian Health Care. Experts have said that using the chemical name of the drug rather than the brand names will change the way in which people have been using the medications. It will lead to fewer medication errors by the patients and doctors. The active ingredient shows the main chemical composition of the medicine, which affects the body. Experts test the drugs to make sure that they contain the same active ingredient irrespective of their brands.
There is only one active ingredient name for each type of chemical composition though they can contain different strengths. Some types of drugs have many active ingredients such as Panadeine Forte, which have both paracetamol and codeine. Doctors have been prescribing a mixture of brands and active ingredient names until now. As per an Australian study, doctors have been using brand names for 80.5 percent of their prescriptions.
Experts have reported that up to 12 brands are available for most of the medicines. When combined with active ingredient names, it accounts for more than thousands of different brand names, which is quite hard for patients and pharmacists to remember. The main objective of the new rule is to simplify the language of the medications. Experts aim to accustom people to using one standard name for each medicine. It will help them to talk about medicines to their health care provider or family members. Experts have said that people make fewer errors by understanding the medications they use. It helps them to make more precise decisions about their medicines.
Health experts have said that the new rule is not going to load doctors with extra work. As per the new legislation, doctors can include the brand name in the prescription, if they feel it is crucial for patients. Apart from some exceptions, the active ingredient names need to be listed in the prescription. The names of active ingredients should be listed first in the prescription, said the experts. Some names of the active ingredient might be too long and more complex than certain brand names, in such a case, there might be a period of adjustment for consumers. However, in the long run, the new rule is going to be implemented across the country, which will change the terminology around the medications. It will make things easy and safe for patients and doctors.