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Generic vs Branded medicines

One may argue legally that, yes there is mandate of prescribing generic medicines, but does that ban prescribing branded medicines simultaneously ?

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Reduction in the prices of Branded Medicines and/or improving quality of Generic Medicines, will be beneficial for all…
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Lets see the topic in nutshell..

The recent amendment made by MCI to the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, 2002, as per its circular dated 21/04/2017 to clause 1.5 – “Use of generic names of drugs- every physician should prescribe drugs with generic names legibly and preferably in capital letters and he/she shall ensure that there is a rational prescription and use of drugs.”

The part of above amendment of legible writing and in Capital Letters, was welcomed by the Medicos unanimously, but the other condition that mandatory prescription of Generic Medicines has been questioned by the Medical field..

What’s Generic Medicine ?
Surprisingly the Definition of Generic Medicines has not been made by any of the Concerned Authorities. An example might help in knowing the difference between Generic and Branded Medicines.. a well known branded drug Crocin, which is used worldwide contains Paracetamol, a generic medicine and now as per the above said Circular, instead of brand name of Crocin, Doctors should subscribe Paracetamol.. Doctors would be in a better position to explain this..

Why Generic Medicines have been proposed ?
Cost.. Cost.. Cost.. It’s the main reason for prescribing Generic medicines. Its very cheap as compared to other branded goods.. One more reason is about the the nexus between Pharma Companies and Doctors and Doctors don’t prescribe generic medicines and only branded ones…

Why Doctors are opposing….

From the various debates, it’s clear that Doctors are not against the fact that patients should get cheaper medicines, but at the same it must be effective too… Else what’s the use of taking medicines ? A Branded drug is costlier than Generic because the Company invests millions of rupees is in research and development and that gives the required relief to patients.
Every Doctor would wish that his/her patient gets relief.. If the Generic medicines, which are cheaper in costs but not as effective as branded drugs, Doctors would certainly prescribe the effective one… Regarding the conduct, I guess now MCI has categorically banned Doctors from accepting any kind of favours from Pharma Companies..

Practical problems..
In practice a Doctor may prescribe 1 branded drug, comprising of various different drugs to treat a particular disease. But that will not be possible in case of generic medicines and a patient would end up in buying 3-4 different drugs independently. This circular will have impact on pharmacists to.. What about the earlier Stock of medicines ? should it be discarded ? Whether there will be enough supply of generic medicines ? Govt. has to take the responsibility..

What’s the solution ?
One may argue legally that, yes there is mandate of prescribing generic medicines, but does that ban prescribing branded medicines simultaneously ?
I feel, if the Govt. can reduce the prices of stents, ti can certainly control the prices of branded drugs and/or it should endeavour in quality of Generic Medicines. Per se, Patients are least btohered about the medicines, what they want is to get recovered.. Else again entire blame will be on Doctors… Already the relationship between Doctors and patients is going through a vicious circle.
Plus this is circular is applicable only to Allopathy, I guess.. What about other branches of medical ?
Thus if the Govt. could assure about this, both, Doctors and patients will be happy.. Its my humble opinion.y fu Staamir khan

Adv. Rohit Erande
Pune.©

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