Mumbai: Patients visiting the state-run Sir Jamshedjee Jeejeebhoy Hospital will henceforth be prescribed generic, the hospital administration said on Thursday.
A circular has been issued to all doctors explaining why generic medicines should be prescribed, the administration said. These medicines will be cheaper compared to their branded counterparts, it said.
Healthcare centres made aware about generic medicines
“At present, we have opened shops that provide generic medicines. The government has made an arrangement whereby generic medicines will be available at these places. A circular regarding generic medicines has also been distributed amongst doctors,” the superintendent of JJ Hospital, Dr Sanjay Surase, said.
The state government has already decided to start generic medicine shops in 18 medical and dental colleges and hospitals under the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER). These centres will open under the central government’s Generic Medicine Scheme, through urban local self-government organisations.
An official said that, thanks to this decision, generic medicines will be available in rural hospitals. Moreover, a technical committee will be constituted to review the functioning of generic drug centres every six months. It will send its report to the Medical Education Department. Therefore, the department has permitted the National Federation of Farmers Procurement Processing and Retailing Co-operative of India (NACOF) to set up drug shops in various medical colleges of the state.
Agreement between NACOF and Retailing Co-operative of India
An agreement has been signed with NACOF and the Retailing Co-operative of India, a central government-sponsored multi-state cooperative, to start this generic drug centre.
“The dispensaries will start in the medical colleges of districts Gondia, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Miraj, Chandrapur, Jalgaon, Latur, Akola, Yavatmal, Satara, Osmanabad, Nandurbar, Sindhudurg, Alibaug. However the common people of the state will now get the facility of getting medicines at cheap rates only in the hospitals,” the official said.
Recently the central government issued a National Medical Commission advisory telling doctors to prescribe only generic medicines. However, this decision has not welcomed by the doctors’ association.
70% price difference between generic and branded meds
‘’While branded medicines are costly, generic medicine can be availed for a much lower price. Generally, the price difference between branded and generic medicines can go up to 70%. This way, generic medicines can reduce the expense significantly,” said a senior official from the state Health Department.