Mumbai : Though two generic drug medicine stores – at Ghatkopar and Dombivli – have opened their doors for the patients, however, the health activists are skeptical about the accessibility of the stores and quality of the medicines. Health activists and experts opine that the government should ask the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct periodical analysis of these generic medicines to ensure that the quality is not compromised and further also ensure that the stores are opened in those areas which are accessible and convenient for people.

In this year’s union budget, the government had announced the start-up of 3000 generic drug medicine stores in the country following the shortfall of drugs. With this initiative, medicines for various health conditions including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and tuberculosis will be provided to people at the one tenth cost of the original price. However, experts from the health care sector express that there are many loop holes which needs to be addressed and solved by the government with immediate effect.

President of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Jayesh Lele said, “First and foremost, 3000 drug stores in the country are not sufficient to meet the growing needs of the people. We had written a letter to the government in March asking them to inform us about the number of stores opened in the city and state, their quality standards and to address the issue wherein not all the doctors write prescriptions in generic form. However, we haven’t received any reply from the government officials.” Health activists express their concerns over the quality of the medicines and therefore suggest that the FDA should step in and ensure that the quality checks are conducted periodically. National Convenor of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Abhay Shukla said, “Majority of the doctors do not know the molecular forms of the medicines and therefore, these prescriptions won’t be valid in these generic drug medicine stores. Therefore, doctors should be asked to write the brand

medicine name along with the generic form so that all the patients can get the medicines from these stores. Also, the government should ensure that there are regular quality checks by FDA; stores are opened in areas which are accessible to patients and it should be published in newspapers to ensure that people are aware about it, only then this will be successful.”

Generic Medicine Stores

Health activists and experts opine that FDA should
conduct periodical analysis of these generic medicines to ensure that the quality is not compromised

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