Posts or Comments 24 June 2024

Drug Quality &Essential Medicines Bill Brieger | 20 Mar 2024 09:16 am

Generic drugs in India: A path to affordable health care

Affordable pharmaceuticals play a major role in the control of infectious and tropical diseases. Dr Naveen Anaswara and Dr Ashok Kumar Kanaparthi explore the importance of quality generic medicines in India in a post on the class blog for the course Social and Behavioral Foundations of PHC. See their thoughts below.

Even though National Medical Commission(NMC) emphasizes the importance of prescribing generic drugs in India, it is not being implemented in the ground level. Many stake holders including Indian Medical Association(IMA) are skeptical regarding the quality of generic drugs compared to branded drugs. India is one country with highest out of pocket expenditure especially for drug purchases.Usage of generic drugs can reduce the out of pocket expenditure ensuring equity.

The Hatch-Waxman Act, also known as the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, was passed on September 24, 1984, during the 98th United States Congress. It created the current system of government regulation for generic drugs in the country and encouraged the pharmaceutical industry to produce generic drugs.Many countries follow the generic drugs prescription.The generic drugs should be with the same efficacy and quality as the branded drugs.

Unlike in US , India lack stringent quality checking mechanisms.India has struggled with the problem of illegal narcotics for a considerable amount of time. The Central Drug Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) found that approximately 4.5% of generic medications sold on the domestic market in 2018 were below par. In the meantime, the country’s dearth of high-quality testing facilities is the root of the problem.

When the Department of Pharmaceuticals introduced the Jan Aushadhi Scheme (JAS) (Public Medicine Scheme) in 2008, the Government of India (GOI) appeared to be taking a strong stand against the private pharmaceutical industry’s outrageous drug prices by providing generic medications at reasonable costs.But due to lack of enough publicity, poor supply chain and lack of prescriptions from doctors this scheme could not flourish.

India have to take the campaign for generic drugs prescription. At the same time Ministry of India should ensure the standard quality of all generic drugs.

Our Stance: Support for Generic Drug Promotion

  1. Public Awareness Campaigns: Initiating comprehensive public awareness campaigns can empower patients and families with information about the benefits of generic drugs.
  2. Incentives for Healthcare Providers: Offering incentives to physicians, pharmacists, and hospitals for prescribing and dispensing generic drugs can drive adoption.
  3. Enforcement of Policy: Stronger enforcement measures by government health authorities are essential both for prescriptions and quality assurance.

Embracing generic drugs in India is not merely a policy suggestion but a pathway to equitable and affordable healthcare. By working collaboratively with stakeholders, advocating for informed choices, and implementing concrete strategies, we can make quality healthcare accessible to all.

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