Monday, 17 August 2015

Buying Aspirin

This may be considered as a sequel to by previous blog “Buying Amoxicillin tablet”.

As I have mentioned earlier about how difficult it is to buy even an antibiotics without the prescription from the doctor in the developed countries, it is that much easier to get it from the medical shop out here. What is encouraging the pharmaceutical shops to be so sincere to not to sell the medicines without prescriptions? Is it due to a strict law? Is it that they are not greedy or eager to sell the drugs? I think they do not have any medicine that is considered over the counter in a pharmaceutical shops. I have seen couple of medicines like paracetamol in the shopping complexes hanging on the shelf together with other stuff like toothpastes and other normal stuff - Over the counter drugs, I guess..

Out here we can just walk into any medical shop and ask for any medicines that one may wish to buy. This may be the main reason for our youths getting spoiled by getting into drugs. It is the easy access to the purchase of the drugs and eagerness of the medical shops to sell it without the prescriptions, if the buyers pay up hard cash, up front. Where is the moral responsibilities gone?

Drugs are medicines, if it is taken with the advice of the doctor and in the prescribed dosage for the right ailment. The situation is further complicated, in sorting out the source of the drugs and the sellers when it happens to be in the different country, which is just a hop away. Is it because the buyers are youth from different country and they can go to hell or stay afloat under the influence of the drugs?

Giving out the names of the drugs with correct spellings, another factor which gives away the information, whenever the substance abusers are caught; I was made aware of some of the drugs used by the abusers through the print media. For instance, when a dose of diazepam injection was prepared to be given to treat the fractured hand of my friend I was apprehensive and had to ask the doctor about the implications. The name of that drug (which I will not type again) is made known to me through the media, time and again. It is just that I was old enough and sane enough to not to try it out. But we should not forget that there may be some innocent lots thinking, “Oh, so this is the drug that he uses…let me try that once when I go to Jaigaon or Dadgari or Dagranga”

The medical shops across the border sell the medicine just like any other stuff – prescription is not required or asked at all. Once I went to buy aspirin for a friend who was having a severe headache, I had a vague idea that for headaches to be relieved faster aspirin had to be taken.

“Bhaya, do you have aspirin?” I asked, knowing full well that he will not ask for the prescription and besides I am prescribing it, with my scrawny knowledge, to my friend.

“Yes, how many and what mg you are looking for?” his eyes already scanning the shelf where the medicine would possibly be as he was asking this.

“Oh, only one piece, probably 500mg”

To which he stared at me and asked, “Are you a heart patient?” the question had taken me aback, since when the aspirin which I had taken for headache had become a medicine for the heart patient, or perhaps it must be used for heart attack paracetamol which can be used for any ailments. 

“No, no no … I am actually looking for a medicine for a headache for a friend and he is an adult” I said, trying not to stammer for almost killing my friend giving a drug for the heart instead of a medicine for a plain headache.

“Aspiring is a medicine for the heart patient” He said with professionalism. I knew that he was not a doctor just like me, but I have to respect his knowledge for he must have been dealing with the medicines for so long. Someone with the heart disease, with the prescription must have taken aspirin from him, therefore linking aspirin to the heart just like I have linked aspirin to the headache.

“Ummm… In that case please give me despirin”

“Yeah, that is the medicine for headache” He went inside and brought me a strip of despirin.

The strip consisting of ten tablets cost only twenty rupees. So cheap! I bought the whole strip, just like that, no prescription. He was concerned about selling the medicines and I am, like many other customers thronging the counter, concerned about buying it.

Unless we stop medical shops from selling medicines without prescription, unless we become apprehensive about giving out the accurate names of the drugs seized in media, combined with all the efforts of the concerned agencies controlling the substance abuse, it is not going to dwindle any time soon…..