A bold initiative by the Government of India will change the health scenario of the country.
Government of India has announced to provide generic drugs to millions of Indian people at a lower cost from October, 2012. The Government has already allocated $5.4 billion for funding this scheme. The Health Ministry has focused on the generic drugs because the generic drug is much cheaper than the branded drug. However, some state governments of India are running this type of scheme for a long period. Rajasthan Government already distributes free generic drugs to the lower income group through its 15000 drug distribution centers. The procurement of generic drugs by Rajasthan Medical Service Corporation has saved a substantial amount of money.
Now, the people have to choose an option between the costly branded drug and cheap generic drugs. General people have some doubt about the generic drugs. Are the generic drugs produce the same results like branded drugs? Are generic drugs applicable to all types of diseases? Before going to this discussion, we have to know what the differences are between these drugs. One or more main components are required for a medical treatment. These components are indentified by their unique names. These names are generic names of the drug. Amoxicillin, Penicillin are the examples of generic names. These products are named by official agencies, association of scientists following some guidelines. The pharmaceutical companies can manufacture the medicine using these components and give them a name for identification of their products. These medicines are categorized as branded medicines. As for example, the main ingredients of “Erox by Microlabs” , “Acmox by Acme Pharmaceuticals” are Amoxicillin, but the products are recognized by the company’s brand names.
If a Company invents an active component for the treatment of a particular disease, the company will take the patent of this invention. By virtue of that patent, that company will get the exclusive rights of manufacturing and selling that product under its brand name for a certain period. Others can manufacture, modify and sell the product after the expiry of the patent period. The length of the patent period is determined by the individual country. Therefore, the patented drug will not be available from generic medicine stores.
The quality of the generic drugs depends on the regulatory process of the country. Generally, pharmaceutical companies have to take the license from the drug controlling authority for manufacturing and marketing of drugs. However, there is no international standardization policy for granting license. Every country has its individual policy. Therefore, the quality of the generic medicine may differ from one country to another. However, most of the people of India suffer from the common diseases like enteric diseases, flue, dysentery and cold. The normal generic drug is enough for the cure of the diseases. The price of branded drugs for these ailments is five to ten times higher than the generic drugs. Therefore, the new initiative of Indian Government will change the lives of Indians.
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