In a bid to make healthcare affordable to all, the government is promoting low-cost generic medicines.
The government has now issued a notification and has directed all pharma companies to print generic drug name on the label with a bigger font. It states that the font size should be two times bigger than the brand or trade name.
In order to break the nexus of doctors and the pharma companies, the central government has undertaken number of steps right from promoting generic drugs to capping the stent and other medicine rates.
The gazette notification from the government reads, ‘The proper name of drug or fixed dose combination drug, other than fixed dose combination of vitamins and other fixed dose combinations containing three or more drugs, shall be printed or written in a conspicuous manner which shall be in the same font but at least two font size bigger than the brand name of trade name’
‘In other cases the brand name or the trade name, if any, shall be written in brackets below or after the proper name and shall be substituted’
This notification shall come into effect from September 13. Sunil Sharma, joint secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had issued this notification.
Patient’s right activists have welcomed this step. Saying it will curb the unholy nexus between doctors and pharma companies.
While speaking to My Medial Mantra, YP Yajurvedi Rao, President of Society for Awareness of Civil Rights said, “This indeed is a welcome decision by the government. But, this depends on the doctors as well. They are the one who generally refuse to issue generic medicines. Government should include training in generic medicines in the MBBS syllabus.”
Vinod Shende, a health activist with Jan Aarogya Abhiyan, Pune said, “We welcome this move. A number of times, the cost of generic medicine are increased citing the brand name. With this step, people will get to know more about the generic medicines and they will also buy generic medicines.”
Dr Pritam Chandak, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, said, “There is no denial of the fact that good quality generics are always comparable to the branded medicine. While in the United States, there is a stringent quality control and a serious periodic monitoring of the quality, this is far from truth in India, where to get a drug license through political or bureaucratic connections by corrupt means is as easy as buying vegetables in the market.”
Regarding this move Dr Manohar Motwani said, “I personally don’t have an issue when it comes to generic medicine. But the quality of generic medicine should be check as it is necessary. Generic medicines are cheap when compared to branded medicine but we cannot afford to compromise with its quality.”