'Govt needs to phase out branded drugs to promote generic medications'

Days after PM Modi's announcement, the Medical Council of India (MCI) had directed all the hospitals, doctors and state medical council to prescribe generic medicines to patients.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: May 01, 2017, 12:25 PM IST
'Govt needs to phase out branded drugs to promote generic medications'

New Delhi: Last month, Prime minister Narendra Modi has hinted at bringing a legal framework under which doctors will have to prescribe low-cost generic medicines to patients.

In order to promote generic drug prescriptions, now, doctors as well as public health groups have said that the government needs to gradually phase out branded drugs and do away with differential pricing under different brand names, says a TOI report.

According to the All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN), the government's proposal to make generic prescription mandatory for doctors would be a useless step unless branded drugs are phased out in a devised manner, the report added.

“In the absence of universal availability of good quality generic-name medicines at retail pharmacy shops, merely getting doctors to start prescribing medicines under generic name will end up shifting the discretion to pharmacists who are likely to dispense brands that give them more commission,” AIDAN, a group of public health activists and doctors, was quoted as saying.

Days after PM Modi's announcement, the Medical Council of India (MCI) had directed all the hospitals, doctors and state medical council to prescribe generic medicines to patients.

The MCI told doctors that prescriptions had to be legible, preferably in capital letters, and there had to be a "rational" prescription on the use of drugs, failing which "strict disciplinary action" would be taken.

To promote good quality affordable drugs, both IMA and AIDAN also recommended various other measures, including quality control, it said.

The government's move to bring law to ensure doctors prescribe cheaper generic drugs is an attempt to reduce healthcare costs across the country. It will also benefit patients immensely as they will be getting life-saving drugs at a much cheaper rates.