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PM’s push for generic drugs to shift focus to chemist:IPA

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New Delhi : Patients may end up with drugs that “may not be effective at all” if doctors were made to prescribe only generic medicines as indicated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to pharma industry body IPA.

The Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) said that due to the nature of the current off-patent medicines market in India, if such a step were to be followed, the choice of products will be shifted from doctors to chemists, not patients.      Elaborating on the challenges, IPA Secretary General D G Shah (rpt) D G Shah told PTI that India is predominantly a market of off-patent medicines with two types of products –generic and similar.

 While generic has established bioequivalence with the originators’ products, a similar does not have.     “This difference has significant impact on the public


health. A generic is safe and effective, but a similar may or may not be safe and effective as it has not been tested,” Shah said.

 Reacting to Modi’s remarks that government may bring in a legal framework under which doctors will have to prescribe generic medicines, he said: “The prescribing in the INN

(International Nonproprietary Names) — popularly referred to as generic — will enable chemists to substitute products of different manufacturers.”

Shah further said the choice of product will be shifted from doctors to chemists, not patients.

“As the patient is unaware of the difference between a

generic and a similar product, he/she may end up with products that may not be effective at all,” he added.

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