I read the two write-ups on generic drugs by Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem in Star of Mysore dated May 19 and 26. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Nayeem for his enlightening articles on social issues, including medicine. But the latest debate on generic Vs branded drugs have kicked up some dust. I propose to share some of my observations and experiences regarding the drugs:
Not all branded products, including drugs are genuine. Just because they are manufactured by huge multinational corporations (with unlimited access to capital) they don’t offer a cure for all health issues nor the small time manufacturers (whose access to capital is limited, hence limited turnover) produce drugs which are ineffective. Price of a drug is not necessarily a reflection of its quality and effectiveness.
These days even the most seasoned doctors talk of ‘alternative medicines’ as they are convinced that the established (read branded) medicines don’t work any more. Such medicines are not touched by the ‘sophisticated’ doctors even with a pair of tongs. What we need is affordable and effective drugs, irrespective of whether generic or branded. Why should we be biased?
Of late, some of the private practitioners also have a pharmacy attached. Most drugs prescribed enjoy a monopoly of being sold in that particular pharmacy alone at exorbitant prices. The aam aadmi has little options.
– Prof. R. Ramaprasad, Yadavagiri, 27.5.2017