Prescribing generic drugs is ok, but are supplies enough?

On several occasions there have been debates and discussions over the need for doctors to prescribe generic drugs over expensive, branded ones promoted by pharma companies.

Published: 23rd April 2017 05:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2017 05:13 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: On several occasions there have been debates and discussions over the need for doctors to prescribe generic drugs over expensive, branded ones promoted by pharma companies. However, doctors here suggest that it is just a matter of ethics.

While doctors have been pointing out that the code of ethics to prescribe generic drugs is not new as it has been mentioned by Medical Council of India (MCI) earlier too, no doctor in Telangana has been punished in the past for violating the code. “We could start prescribing generic drugs. But do medical shops have enough stock?” questioned a doctor.

On Friday, secretary in-charge of Medical Council of India (MCI) Dr Reena Nayyar sent a letter to all MCI chapters across India which reiterated an amended clause in Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002, and stated that disciplinary action would be taken against doctors violating the clause.

The letter read: “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”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent announcement indicating that his government may bring in a legal framework under which doctors have to prescribe generic drugs has gained popularity as prescription of generic drugs will bring down money spent on medicines.

In fact, a day after Modi made the announcement, joint secretary at Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Manoj Jhalani, too cited the notification in his letter addressed to state heads of Health and Family Welfare departments, mission directors of National Health Mission of all States and Union Territories.

BDMA sees no positive impact
Bulk Drugs Manufacturers Association (BDMA) feels that there will not be any significant positive impact when it comes to the business of bulk drugs. Bulk drugs is the raw material that is used for making final drug formulations by the generic and branded drug companies.

BDMA, Executive Director, P Eshwar Reddy, said, “With the push for generic medicine the demand for a few particular raw drugs might go up.  However, it will have a positive overall impact of only a small percentage. It will not be that significant.

Manufacturers of both generic and branded formulations buy raw material from bulk drug manufacturers. So, at our end the change ill not that significant.  

Bulk drugs business records a growth of 10-15 per cent every year and with increasing living standards and more people getting quality healthcare, the business is expected to grow more in coming years.”


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