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What are Generic Medicines and why are they affordable

05-OCT-2017 02:25
    Generic vs branded medicine

    According to the World Health Organization, if doctors prescribe generic medicines, then health expenditure can be reduced by 70% in developed countries and developing countries. Generic drugs consumption is only 10-12% of the total drug market. Greedy attitude of the drug manufacturer companies, medical stores and doctors don't want to spread the market of generic drugs. In today’s world almost all type of generic drugs are available at the price lower than the branded medicines. These cheap generic drugs can be boon for the poor people.
    What is Generic Medicine?
    Generic drugs follows international standard that is why they are not less effective than the branded medicines. Dosage of generic drugs, their side-effects are all like branded medicines.
    Generic medicine has the same ingredients as the branded medicines. These medicines are according to the 'Essential Drug criteria’ set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
    Generic drugs are required to obtain permission and licenses from the concerned authorities before entering the market, as it is necessary for branded medicines. Generic drugs also have to go through all the quality checking processes like branded medicine.

    generic medicines
    Image source:www.squawkfox.com
    For the treatment of any one disease, a chemical (salt) is prepared after all kinds of research and study; later on the name of the medicine given. Every company sells this salt by different names. Some sells it at higher price and some at lower.
    The generic name of this salt is determined by a special committee keeping in mind the composition 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 different 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 determined by the companies itself while the price of generic drugs can’t be decided arbitrarily because government intervene in the pricing of these drugs. There is 5 to 10 times price different is found between the generic and branded drugs.

    generic medical store
    Image source:Business Line

    Salt:Concept, properties and uses
    Why Generic drugs are so cheap:
    1. Generic drugs are so cheap because companies that make them do not have to make a separate laboratory for research and development.
    2. There is huge competition among generic drug manufacturers due to which prices get reduced.
    3. Generic drug manufacturer don’t waste money in the advertisement that is why their cost of production is low.
    4. Generic drugs are made and distributed without any patent. Generic medicine can be patented, but its material can not be patented which is another reason for lower 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.

    market size of generic drugs
    Image source:Nasdaq
    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 convenience of people, through which you can easily buy cheap medicines.
    How can generic medicines be obtained?
    Whenever you go to a doctor, ask him to write generic medicines only and demand generic medicines on medical stores.
    The main problem in meeting generic drugs

    If doctors write generic medicine for patients then the medical store owner pretends not to has that particular medicine. The basic reason behind this denial is that medical owners don’t get much margin on sale of generic drugs that is why they don’t have generic medicine. In such conditions patients have to purchase costly branded medicines only.

    Many times the doctors who write the medicine and the medicines that the patient receives from the medical don’t have required amount of salt composition. In such conditions government must make it mandatory for all the drug manufacturers to produce only those generic medicines which are useful for the customers.

    List of important Drugs and Chemicals

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