Table of Contents
According to the World Health Organization, if doctor prescribes generic medicines, then health expenditure will be reduced by 70% in developed countries and developing countries. Generic drugs usage is only 10-12 percent of the total drug market. Greedy attitude of the drug manufacturer companies, medical stores and doctors don’t want to expand the market of generic drugs. In present world almost all type of generic drugs are present at the price lower than the branded medicines. These cheap generic drugs can be a help for the poor people.
What is Generic Medicine?
Generic drugs accepts international standard that is why they are not less efficient than the branded medicines. Dosage of generic drugs, their side-effects are all similar to the branded medicines.
Generic medicine has the similar ingredients as the branded medicines. These medicines are according to the ‘Essential Drug criteria’ established by the World Health Organization (WHO). Generic drugs are needed to get permission and licenses from the concerned authorities before launching into the market, as it is required for branded medicines. Generic drugs also have to go through all the quality checking processes like branded medicine.
For the treatment of any one disease, a chemical (salt) is prepared after all types of research and study; after that the name of the medicine is provided. Every company sells this salt by various names. Some sells it at larger price and some at lesser.
The generic name of this salt is decided by a special committee keeping in mind the constitution of the salt. The name of the generic drug would be the only one in the whole world, such as tablet of “Paracetamol” which is used in fever; every company gives separate names, but if it is generic, then every country must name it ‘Paracetamol’ only.
Why Generic Drugs Are Affordable?
The price of branded drugs is decided by the companies itself while the price of generic drugs can’t be determined randomly because government involve in the pricing of these drugs. There is 5 to 10 times price difference found between the generic and branded drugs.
How to differentiate between generic and branded medicine?
Price of the same salt medicine is the only difference between the generic and branded medicine. Many mobile apps such as Healthkart plus and Pharma Jan Samadhan are also available for the easiness of people, by which you can easily buy cheap medicines.
How can generic medicines be obtained?
Whenever you go to a doctor, ask him to prescribe generic medicines only and ask for generic medicines on medical stores.
The main problem in meeting generic drugs
If doctors write generic medicine for patients then the medical store owner acts not to have that specific medicine. The main reason behind this denial is that medical owners don’t get much margin on sale of generic drugs that is why they say don’t have generic medicine. In such conditions patients have to buy costly branded medicines only.
A generic drug has a similar chemical composition or drug formulation as of its brand name counterpart that performs on the body with the similar strength and absorption process as that of the brand-name drug. So, the generic version of a drug is the bioequivalent of its brand-name counterpart, that means there is either no considerable difference between the two drugs in terms of the price and extent of absorption or if there is a difference, it is either planned or medically insignificant.
The generic drug must inhibit the following similarities with its brand name counterpart:-
- It must contain the same active ingredients (active ingredients are the chemical substances that make the drug function).
- It must be the same dosage type (that is, it needs to be available in the same form as the branded drug—for example, as a pill, syrup, capsule etc.).
- It must have the same dosage strength (the quantity of active ingredients, for example 10 mg or 20 mg).
- It must have the same method of administration (the way the medication is introduced into the body).
- It must the same amounts of the drug to the bloodstream (that is, it needs to deliver an equivalent amount of the drug into the bloodstream within a similar time period as the brand name drug).
Following differences may also exist between the generic drug and its corresponding branded drug:-
- They look different i.e. they could have different sizes, shapes, colors or markings.
- Drugs are made up of both active and inactive ingredients. They might have distinct inactive ingredients. Some people may be sensitive to inactive ingredients also. For example, some people have allergic reactions to certain dyes or flavors used in some drugs.
- The generic drugs cost less than their corresponding brand name drugs.
- Generic drugs vary by manufacturer, which means that we can receive different versions based on where we purchase our medications and what type of generic they dispense.
WHY GENERIC DRUGS ARE CHEAPER THAN THEIR BRAND NAME COUNTERPARTS?
Most of the reasons for why generic drugs are less expensive than their brand name counterparts are as follows:-
- One of the main reasons is research and development costs. The pharmaceutical companies producing the generic drugs have much lower expenses than the companies that produce the branded drugs. This is because of the fact that drug research is costly and creation of a drug can consume many years- costs that generic manufacturers do not have. Once a company creates the drug, it must accomplish expensive clinical trials to ensure that the drug is safe and efficient. So, by the time a brand-name drug gets an approval from FDA, the drug company has already spent millions. Generic drug manufacturers don’t have to bear these costs encountered while developing a new drug. For generic drug manufacturers, the drug’s formula is known, the clinical trials are complete, and these are investing only on the production of the medication, so they can afford to sell the medicine at low prices.
- Another main reason is marketing. Brand-name manufacturers spend loads of amount in marketing new drugs to doctors and the public. They try different tactics for providing a place to their drug in the market. The brand name manufacturing firms send their representatives to visit the doctors in their clinics and various hospitals; these companies also invest on arranging the conferences to talk about their drugs with other doctors. Generic manufacturers rarely spend money on advertising and marketing. Generic drug companies also receive the benefit of the previous marketing efforts made by the brand-name drug company, including media advertising, presentations by drug representatives, and distribution of free samples. Most of the drugs introduced by generic manufacturers have already been on the market for a decade or more (the time period for which the patent was valid), and may already be well known to patients and providers.
- Competition among the generic drug producers also keep the costs down. Once generic drugs are approved, multiple companies begin producing and selling the drugs. Due to this, the competition grows, which keeps the price.
- Generic drugs are so cheap because companies that prepare them need not have to build a separate laboratory for research and development.
- There is big competition among generic drug producers due to which prices get minimised.
- Generic drug manufacturer don’t waste money in the advertisement that is why their cost of production is low.
- Generic drugs are produced and distributed without any license. Generic medicine can be patented, but its material cannot be patented which is another reason for lesser price.A branded medicine for blood cancer cost around Rs. 1,14,400 per month while generic medicine of this disease is available in Rs.11,400 for a month. In the same way, Cholesterol controlling branded drug ‘Atorvastatin’ of 10 mg cost around 2300 rupees a year while its generic medicine comes in just about Rs 365 for a year.
Generic drugs are cheaper than their brand-name counterparts and have the same safety, effectiveness and active ingredient, but people still take brand-name drugs. This panorama is because of the following reasons:-
- Generally, it’s marketing. Branded drugs are familiar to common people. Generic drugs are sold under their scientific names – less or not familiar by common people. Also, if a patient is ultimately on a drug that works, he might not want to switch to the generic version for scare of losing the effect of the drug. Advertising can push patients to take more expensive, newer drugs, when lower-cost generics would work the same.
- There are inactive ingredients in generic drugs that can be dissimilar from those in their brand-name counterparts. They don’t affect the way the drug works, but they can make it look and taste different, making people wonder if the cheaper drug has left something out.
- Another cause is that doctors don’t write generic drugs in India. A study conducted by Maulana Azad Medical College’s pharmacology department at DDU showed that only 35% prescriptions expressed drugs by their generic names. The remaining advised costlier, branded versions. In the US, almost 80% prescriptions name generic drugs. In UK, the generic prescription rate is 82%.
- The thought that generic drugs are produced in lesser-quality facilities or are inferior in quality to brand-name drugs also lessen their acceptance by the people. The same standards are enforced by the FDA for all drug manufacturing facilities, and many companies produce both brand-name and generic drugs under same conditions. In fact, as estimated by FDA, 50% of generic drug production is by brand-name companies.
- Another general disbelief is that generic drugs take more time to work. But it’s mere a disbelief and generic drugs work as quick and as efficiently as the original brand-name products as the chemical composition or the active ingredient is the similar in both the drugs.
So, it’s the need of the hour that generic drug producers develop realization and encourage the consumption of generic drugs among people as well as people also open their brains towards the use of generic medicines.
This is the time for you. This is the best time to prepare yourself for the exam. You prepare for the exam with us from home. We give you the best courses, the best head trainers, simple instructions and quality quizzes. Strengthen the parts of the course that are difficult for you to learn during this wonderful time. Entri app provides you with free PDFs of Mock Tests, Test series, E-Books, Daily Current Affairs, Weekly Current Affairs, Monthly Current Affairs and many more learning materials in English and Malayalam. We offer you free and paid classes in a profitable way. Join us to pass the upcoming exams.