Of late, we are witnessing lot of discussions on generic medicines to be prescribed by doctors. When a drug is prescribed by its generic name, the patient can opt for a cheaper medicine. But do all patients have knowledge of drugs prescribed by the doctor? It’s a clear NO. Then the chemist has to suggest a cheaper version of the drug. Now as a layman my questions are:
- Who is responsible for the treatment? Is it the doctor who prescribes a particular brand / name of the medicine or the chemist who suggests a cheaper version of the medicine based on the generic name ?
- When a cheaper substitute of a medicine is used, suppose the patient has not recovered, should the patient go back to the doctor or to the chemist ?
- Reputed pharma companies invest lot of funds for their research and development and they need to recover their investment. Hence their medicines will generally be costly.
- A pharma company selling cheaper version of the same drug may not even have a R&D facility. Also their investment would be less than that of a standard pharma company.
- When a patient can afford to pay a sum of Rs. 150 to Rs. 200 as doctor’s consultation charges, they may not mind buying good quality of medicines, as per the prescription of the doctor.
- If the government is targeting poor patients, insist all government hospital medical stores to sell generic medicines only.
- Purchasing medicines should be the prerogative of the patients and prescribing the same is the prerogative of the doctors. Government cannot insist doctors that they should prescribe only generic names.
– K. Chandrahas, Mysuru, 7.6.2017