Generic Medicines You must know them well

Consumer Voice - - Feature -

If you are a layper­son, this is the way you prob­a­bly see generic medicines: They are the ex­act same prod­ucts in dif­fer­ent pack­ag­ing; and gener­ics com­pa­nies can sell such med­i­ca­tions for a frac­tion of the cost of the orig­i­nals be­cause they don’t have to spend huge sums on R&D, drug de­vel­op­ment and mar­ket­ing. You have been told that gener­ics are just like their branded coun­ter­parts. Is that a fact? One of the most de­bated is­sues in healthcare to­day con­cerns the dif­fer­ence be­tween brand name (also called branded, in­no­va­tor and pi­o­neered) drugs and their generic ver­sions. No doubt, pa­tients ben­e­fit from the mas­sive cost sav­ings of us­ing gener­ics. But does that come at a cost or is it all one and the same thing?

As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor and Con­venor, Con­sumer Club, Depart­ment of Com­merce, Ka­mala

Nehru Col­lege, Univer­sity of Delhi

Ear­lier this month, Union Min­is­ter of State for Chem­i­cals and Fer­til­iz­ers Han­sraj Ahir claimed that over 1,000 stores selling generic medicines would be opened across In­dia in June this year when the Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment would launch a scheme to make medicines af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble. The min­is­ter also said that 3,000 such shops would be op­er­a­tional within this year. These stores would stock 504 es­sen­tial generic medicines to be­gin with and then scale it to over 670 medicines.

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