Thursday, October 29, 2020
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Generic medicines put patients at disadvantage

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It refers to central government reportedly planning to allow pharmacists to subsite allegedly-cheaper generic medicines against the branded one prescribed by the doctor in case of the patient accepting such a change. But government has closed eyes to the bitter fact of generic medicines being at times sold with 400 per cent margin with Maximum-Retail-Price (MRP) being equal or even higher than the branded medicines of same composition. As such allowing generic substitutes will make chemists mint profit-margins in hundreds of per cent. An example is Absolute-3G whose generic substitute has MRP even slightly higher than Absolute-3G, but available in wholesale drug-market of Bhagirath Palace (Delhi) with 400 per cent profit-margin.

Matter has been repeatedly raised through www.pgportal.gov.in, www.helpline.rb.nic.in and similar portal as website of Prime Minister. But all these portals prove to be show-pieces with eye-wash useless responses. Central government and National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) should fix some maximum difference between MRP and ex-factory price of medicines including generic ones before promoting generic medicines. It is also important because government-hospitals have maximum supply of generic medicines where suppliers can misuse such liberty of unlimited profit-margins for minting money and bribing to purchase-officers.

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Madhu Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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