Generics versus branded !! What’s the chaos about?

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It has been a lot of frantic discussion in news and media about the government emphasis on writing generic medicines to patients as if till now everyone was being prescribed the costliest medicines by doctors with ulterior motives.

Let me try to explain it in simple words. Any drug discovery or development is a long and tedious process done by research teams of doctors, pharmacists, scientists and many dedicated professionals . It involves lots of studies , experiments and trials and obviously is a very resource intensive and costly process. Hence any new drug made by someone is being patented on the name of the original producer and they market and sell it as research molecule or patented drug and make profit through the monopoly of sales till the patent expires. These drugs are the patented drugs.

When the patent period expires then other manufacturers are allowed to make the molecule or drug and sell it in market without paying any royalty to the discovered. These drugs then are called as generic molecule or generic drugs.

Now what happens in India is something very peculiar. There are certain reputed and big pharmaceutical companies which produce these generics in their plants. Since their plant and manufacturing  processes are standard and have been certified by various national or international authorities they claim to be making a superior quality product. These are called as branded generics or ‘ ethical’ drugs. Most of the drugs used for heart diseases like chest pain, angina, heart failure, hypertension , arrhythmia, diabetes etc are these ethical drugs. These drugs have confidence amongst doctors regarding quality and effectivity and hence most of them are marketed heavily and hence over priced compared to true generic drugs.

Unlike big and reputed pharma companies there are multiple small and local level drug manufacturers who either have small plants or who procure raw materials and package the drugs in their brand name. They also might be giving a good or standard quality of medicine but usually doctors and patients don’t trust these drugs and they are called as non branded generics.

This is all I know and i really don’t understand that by asking doctors to write generic drugs what is the government implications and meaning ?????????. I think more thinking and  discussions are needed and futher clarifications are desirable.

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