Why Doctors don’t prescribe generic medicines ?
To understand the reasons behind not getting enough ‘generics’ prescribed by doctors, you first have to know the generic medicines scenario in India. Ours is a country that stands as a global market leader in generic drugs as it exports to countries like the United States, Japan, and African and European countries. Generic drugs have the same chemical composition as marketed drugs. However, they are sold under the chemical names that are not open to the public. Enabling the use of generic drugs rather than expensive branded medications is probably one of the most effective ways to reduce medical expenses as it benefits the large part of the population. Still, majority of people are sold branded medicines. Why?
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Most of you may wonder if there is any difference between generic and branded medicines. The generic drugs are cheaper than branded ones simply because the manufacturers don’t have the resources to create and market the newly-crafted medicine. When a company launches a new medication, the company has already invested truckload of money on conducting drug research, production, and promotion/marketing activities. Most of such advertised and well-marketed medicines will fall under the ‘branded’ label.
Now, from where will they earn the additional cost of marketing and promotions? Of course, the consumers have to bear it because the manufacturers also need to make a profit. And that’s when doctors come to play as an agent. Doctors work on commission-basis, getting a cut from the medical representatives who market and endorse a drug for the company they work for.
Now, these medical representatives are also getting a share of commission as they sell the same to doctors as ‘gifts’ who, in turn, recommend the same to their patients to get their share of the cut, making patients more vulnerable due to the former’s authoritative position. And since patients trust doctors blindly, follow every word they say, the doctors leverage their position to prescribe branded medicines. The problem is also with the patients as most of them are not aware of the existence of generics and don’t even bother asking about it to doctors.
Apart from the commission aspect, general physicians also play a major role in taking the branded market forward and shooting up the costs. The more the doctors recommend, the more likely it is to be recommended to the people, and the company can then exercise a monopoly. Customers are equally responsible for contributing to an already-existing large pie by blindly trusting the “brand name,” be it product like shoes, jeans, mobile phones, or even medicines where brand names like Crocin highly used for Paracetamol tablets.
Another reason is that the patients lack the awareness regarding generic medicines as many feel that cheaper medicines are not as effective as the expensive, branded ones.
Many chains of hospitals are closely associated with the pharma companies where they earn a high commission on selling the drug manufactured by those companies within their premises. Such an ecosystem breeds a positive attitude towards branded medicines, where even the patients feel that branded medicines are only effective ones. That’s why even doctors feel that not prescribing branded medicines would mean patients doubt their diagnosis, or if they are given another cheap medicine the second time, they won’t appreciate it.
Off late, the health ministry in India decided that all physicians must mandatorily prescribe generic medicine. But, we think it will take a long time to implement this one. Till then, it is up to the buyers to stay aware of the generics and choose their way. The best option is to reach Medkart with the doctor’s prescription and ask about it. Our representatives will make you understand the contents of the prescribed medicines and its effect on your body, thereby offering you generic options and helping choose one. Since the beginning of the launch, we have been following this practice and spreading awareness about generics to people so that they can make the right choice about what they consume.
Why do doctors prescribe brand name drugs?
Marketing and promotion: Pharmaceutical companies often engage in marketing and promotional activities to create awareness and familiarity with their brand name drugs among healthcare providers. This can include providing samples, educational materials, and financial incentives to doctors, which may influence their prescribing practices.
Drug availability: Sometimes, due to supply chain issues or other factors, generic versions of certain drugs may not be readily available in the market. In such cases, doctors may have no choice but to prescribe the brand name version of the drug to ensure that their patients have access to the medication they need.