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The issue of generic medicine prescribing in India and the challenges associated with it. It....

The issue of generic medicine prescribing in India and the challenges associated with it. It highlights the prevalence of spurious and low-quality medicines in the market and the need for the government to ensure the quality of medicines.

  • Patients often seek a second opinion from the seller at a medical shop, rather than a qualified pharmacist.

  • The replies given by the seller are supposed to be free, as long as the patient buys the prescribed medicines from the same shop.

  • In India, salespeople have the power to decide which brand of generic medicine to give to a patient, overriding the prescribing doctor's preference.

  • The National Medical Council (NMC) directed doctors to prescribe only generic names, not brand names, which led to protests.

  • Brand names are shunned because they are often more expensive, while generic names are cheaper.

  • The belief that only certain renowned and branded companies have quality is a myth propagated by big pharma companies.

  • Alleged nexus between pharmaceutical companies and doctors for unethical marketing and kick-backs

  • Indian Medical Association and allied professional organizations believe in improving access to affordable medicines

  • Doctor's reputation depends on the reliability of the quantity and quality of active pharmaceutical ingredients

  • Prevalence rate of spurious and "not standard quality" medicines is 4.5% and 3.4% respectively


Government must ensure quality of medicines through Universal Health Coverage system and private healthcare network

  • Periodic lifting of samples for testing and banning batches of medicines that fail quality tests

  • Punitive action against manufacturers to eliminate repeat defaulters from the supply chain

  • Mechanism and systems in place but not implemented effectively

  • Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation's practice of quality testing medicines before stock entry is worth replicating

  • Doctors should be allowed to use the name of the company they trust in their generic prescriptions until the government can assure the quality of all medicines in the market

  • The availability rate of essential medicines should be above 90%

  • A study in Chhattisgarh found that only 17% of essential pediatric medicines were available

  • There should be a ban on unscientific combinations of medicines, which currently make up around 40% of the retail market in India.

  • Free medicines and free diagnostics are acceptable policies for ensuring affordable medicines for all under Universal Health Care.

  • The network of Janaushadhi kendras needs to be expanded.

  • The profit margin for wholesale agents should be limited to 15% and for retailers, it should be 35% over the ex-factory or manufacturer's selling prices (MSP).

  • The order on 'generic prescribing' has been withdrawn by the NMC following the Indian Medical Association's protest.

  • This withdrawal is seen as a setback in achieving the goal of universal access to affordable generic medicines without brand names.

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