Recent speech of our Prime Minister rise a very controversial issue in respect of pharmaceutical sector and that is Generic Medicines. This is hot issue world wide. Every country leader whether it is USA or India, everyone is talking to implement generic medicines.
First we need to understand the difference between Branded and Generic medicines. Branded and Generic medicines are same in every aspects like dosage form, efficacy, potency, strength, purification, standards and other things. Only difference is at their marketing type.
In Indian Pharmaceutical market, If a medicine is sell through doctor’s prescription, it becomes branded medicine and if sell in open market without involvement of doctors, it become generic medicines. That’s the concept and difference that differentiate branded medicines from generic medicines in India. Otherwise we can’t differentiate between these two in India.
In western countries, patented molecule medicines are considered as Branded medicines where as medicines whose patents have been expired and all pharmaceutical manufacturers are allowed to manufacture this molecule. Products manufactured by manufacturers other than patented medicine manufacturers come under generic medicines. Indian market contains approximately 90% percent of medicines that come under generic medicines but promoted as branded medicines. So we use a new terminology for these and that is Branded Generics.
Now come to misconception and rumours have been separate across country in pharmaceutical sector. With notification of Heading ‘Use of Generic Names of Drugs’ with subtitle “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“
Romours are there, using brand name of medicines has been prohibited and doctors can only use generic names at prescriptions but reality is different. This notice only bound doctors to write generic names (in other sense, each molecule names present in medicine) but doesn’t prohibit or ban use of brand name/company name with it. Doctors will have two easy options:
- Use of Brand Name then below it or in bracket use of generic name of each molecule present in it.
- Use of Generic name first and after it or in bracket use of Brand name of molecule.
It means nothing is going to be changed, only prescription writing time for doctors has been increased. Better alternative to reduce prescription time is generate prescription through prescription softwares. That is only going to make some work loads of doctors.
Have a look at some merits and demerits of generic names writing at prescriptions:
- It will be easy to understand doctor’s prescription as generic name will be mentioned along with brand name.
- In many cases, same brand name available for different compositions of different companies in India, it will prevent wrong product dispensing due to resemblance of brand names.
- There may be increase in low MRP based competition as awareness about similar generic versions will increase.
- More generic medicines will be available and road for Pure Generic companies will be boasted.
- Increase of Workload at Doctors whose already has lot work pressure at daily routine.
- Importance of Brand name will fade as generic name will be written along with brand name.
- Substitution of a particular brand with other brands will be increased.
- Confusion among pharma companies and doctors will rise in aspect of writing generic name and brand name.
- Pharma companies profit margin may fall down which may effect adversely at new innovations and researches.