0558 GMT January 22, 2018
A court in the capital Dhaka issued the ruling on Monday after the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh offered a petition on January 2.
The petition highlighted the difficulties faced by patients due to unreadable prescriptions. It said that prescriptions became so illegible that patients were taking the wrong medicines.
The court ruling calls for clear handwriting and description of medicines. "A few lives may have been saved by the banning of sloppy handwriting," the decree said.
“Write the prescriptions in an easy-to-read manner, or in block capitals or type them.” That is a clear prescription handed down by the court to doctors.
Following the court verdict, deputy attorney general, Mokhlesur Rahman, also asked doctors to mention the generic names of the prescribed medicines to avoid confusions brought about by brand names.
He said that the lack of generic names intends to knowingly favor certain companies and leads patients to purchase expensive medicines whereas cheaper ones may be available.
The court has ordered Health Secretary Mohammad Nasim to circulate the ruling among the country's doctors and report on the improvement of the situation within six weeks.
Following the ruling, government will issue pamphlets or other forms of advertisement to ensure the court’s order is clearly realized.
The court order has been widely praised by public and rights groups. Meanwhile, the government of Bangladesh has also promised a computerized prescription system for doctors.
From the doctors’ perspective, though, the sloppy handwriting is often caused by a rush of having numerous patients and being obliged to fill out insurance forms and conduct other procedures.