TURA: A Garo Hills based student welfare organization, the A’chik Youth Welfare Organization, have written to Meghalaya Chief minister Conrad K Sangma urging upon his government to ensure the supply of generic medicines and drugs in all government run hospitals and health centres which help in reducing medical costs for patients and their families.
The pharmacological effects of Generic Drugs are exactly the same as those of their brand name counterparts, except that it is far cheaper to purchase.
The AYWO, in their memorandum to the chief minister said that government hospitals and health centres have so far not taken advantage of the availability of the generic medicines in the market. As a result patients are being recommended brand name drugs which are extremely expensive.
Brand-name drugs are typically more expensive because of the higher initial costs to develop, market, and sell a brand-new drug. A pharmaceutical company that develops a brand-name drug usually files for a patent that prohibits other manufacturers from producing and selling the medicine for a certain period of time.
On the other hand, Generic makers don’t face the same costs as manufacturers of brand-name drugs because it is created to be the same as an existing approved brand-name drug in dose form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality and performance characteristics.
The AYWO points out that several drugs currently recommended for patients in hospitals are staggeringly high due to name of the brand whereas the same chemical composition can be obtained from the use of generic medicines available in the market.
It is worth mentioning that medical companies have a history of pushing forward their brand of drugs for recommendation by doctors.