Experts estimate that about 25% of patients in Pakistan self-medicate

Around 25% of individuals in Pakistan use prescription medicines without consulting a doctor, according to health experts, who advised consumers and doctors to use “evidence-based medicines and interventions” for the treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

“A large number of people in Pakistan, approximately around 25 per cent, take prescription medicines without consulting physicians. The abuse of medicines, especially those known as antibiotic drugs, is very common in our society, and it is making these medicines useless against many infectious diseases,” Prof Javed Akram, vice chancellor of the University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore, told a news conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Thursday.

Prof Javed Akram, accompanied by Pakistan’s most senior medical professor, Prof Dr Eice Muhammad, secretary of the Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM), Dr Somia Iqtadar, Prof Aftab Mohsin, Prof Zaman Shaikh, Prof Dr Aziz-ur-Rehman, Dr. Farhan Essa, and others, announced that a three-day annual conference of PSIM would begin on Friday in Karachi to promote evidence-based medicine.

He stated that medicine was fast expanding around the world, with new medicines and interventions appearing based on fresh research and studies, but that many practitioners were unaware of these breakthroughs in medical science, particularly in the field of medicine.

“In a country where every second adult is hypertensive (having high blood pressure), 25 per cent population is diabetic and over 40 per cent children are either obese or overweight, it is imperative evidence-based medicines and interventions are adopted and prescribed to patients to lower the disease burden from the society.”

On the occasion, he stated that PSIM’s 3rd Annual Conference, themed “Adopting Evidence-Based Medicine,” would begin tomorrow in Karachi and run until Sunday, with 92 scientific sessions and the newest research in the fields of communicable and noncommunicable diseases being presented.