India is the world’s 3rd largest producer of medicines and vaccines. In 2022, the Indian pharmaceutical market was valued at USD 41 Billion. It is expected to grow to USD 65 Billion by 2024. India’s ability to manufacture high-quality, affordable medication is an example for the rest of the world. And yet, we find ourselves in jeopardy whenever it’s time to foot the medical bills. Prices of pharmaceutical products always seem to be out of reach.
The good news is that low-cost medication is attainable in India. All you need is awareness and knowledge about generic medicines. Medkart Pharmacy is devoted to making high-quality, affordable treatments available to patients in India. Generic drugs play an essential role in our mission.
What are Generic Medicines?
Generic medicines are affordable versions of branded drugs that are introduced once the patent acquired by the drug manufacturer expires. These medicines are dispensed either by brand or salt name. The generic drug is the same in potency, quality, dose, and efficacy as branded medicines. Here’s a look at the difference between generic and branded medication –
- When a new medicine is manufactured, the original producer of the medication is protected under a patent for the first few years.
- During the patent’s validity, the original producer is the sole producer and seller of the medicine; and within regulations – they decide the drug’s price.
- Once the patent expires, other pharma manufacturers are free to produce and market the medicine, but their products should contain the same ingredients as the original medicine. These are known as generic medicines.
- Prices of generic medicines are cheaper than the original as the manufacturers did not incur the cost of research or testing.
- Generic medicines are bioequivalent of branded medicines. It implies that they have the same physiological action on a user. It also means that generic medicines are the same quality and potency as branded medicines – despite being cheaper.
Beliefs & Attitudes Towards Generic Medicines in India
If generic medicines are equally effective and cheaper – why doesn’t everyone buy them?
A study conducted by the Journal of Drug Delivery and Therapeutics in 2019 revealed that 62% of healthcare providers are cynical about the efficacy of generic drugs. Physicians, too, expressed doubts and a lack of confidence in generics.
Among end-users of medicines, 92% of those surveyed knew about generic medicines; out of these, only 70% understood the difference between generic and branded medicines. Even so, 14% of aware users insisted that generic medicines are not cheaper than branded ones, and 47.8% of all users clearly preferred to buy branded medication instead of generic ones.
Negative perceptions of generic medicines influence prescriber behaviour and affect patients’ trust in cheaper medications. With marketing forces poised against generic medicines, they are perceived as sub-standard versions of branded drugs. The answer lies in programs that invest in the systematic spread of information and strategies to build trust in generic medicines.
Notably, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Medical Council of India has mandated that all doctors prescribe drugs with generic names mentioned legibly in their prescription.
At Medkart Pharmacy, we often encounter customers who are uninformed about generic medicines and have been spending their hard-earned money on branded drugs. Watching the relief wash over their faces when they see their medical bills decline – is one of the reasons why we exist.
Understanding Generic Medicines
Let’s say you are in New Delhi for the first time in your life. And you want to go from Hauz Khas in South Delhi to DLF Cybercity in Gurgaon. You ask a resident of Delhi for advice, and they suggest taking an Uber. They’re more knowledgeable about the city than you are. You think it’s expensive, but what option do you have?
But with a little more effort, you learn about the wonderful Delhi Metro Rail Network. You decide to take a metro instead. The following day, you reach your destination quickly and at a fraction of the cost.
This analogy applies perfectly to the comparison between generic medicines and branded medicines. Two equally effective solutions to the same problem. But one is much easier on the pocket.
Asking your doctor or pharmacist about generic medicines does not amount to questioning their opinion or knowledge. Buying generic medication does not mean you are doing something different from the doctor’s advice. Generic medicines are undoubtedly a smarter choice for your healthcare budget as long as you build awareness.
If you wish to know more about generic medicines or you just want to check that the drug prescribed to you has a generic counterpart – get in touch with the Medkart team today. Visit our store or log on to www.medkart.in and we would be happy to help you compare prices.
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