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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai March 07 , 2018
Even as the Union government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) are insisting for generic prescription of all drugs by the doctors, experts are of the view that the government and the regulating body, before making it mandatory, must ensure that the whole drug manufacturing and marketing system in the country is hundred percent foolproof and fully complying with all legal aspects.

Reacting to the instructions given by Kerala Medical Council to their registered medical practitioners, a senior pharmaceutical mentor and pharma consultant in Chennai, Manikantan S A, said that before insisting on generic prescription the government must focus on sprucing up the drug manufacturing system throughout the country. However, Manikantan, who formerly served as the managing director of Grandix Pharmaceuticals and CEO of Global Brands of Strides Arcolab Ltd, welcomed all the healthcare measures being introduced by the central and state governments towards a healthy society.

If one doctor decides a particular molecule and prescribes the generic name, only the pharmacist at the medical shop will determine which company’s generic product should be dispensed to the patient. The doctor has no role there and selection of medicine will become the discretion of the pharmacist. Usually he will give the most profitable generic version. Even for the generic products, prices may vary according to various manufacturers, he opined.

“The most profitable generic version may not be in good quality. Here, the patients will land in peril, especially those with chronic lifestyle disease. If one doctor prescribes the brand, it will be convincing as the patient is fully aware of the quality, efficacy and safety of that brand. The doctors always consider the life of his patient more than the money he gets. By prescribing generic names, we are shifting the decision making system from the doctor to the pharmacist who will decide what kind of generic product should be given to a patient. This will turn out to be disastrous as far as the lives of the patients are concerned,” he told Pharmabiz.

There are several fixed dose combination drugs like syrup, pediatric products, anti-diabetics, anti-hypertensive..etc. The doctor cannot write all the generic names and  their quantities. The situation will be very difficult for the poor people of the country. Doctors are the custodians of patients and none can care the patients better than they do.

Pointing on several drawbacks due to this new policy, he said if generic prescription is made compulsory, apart from industry, it will impact more on lakhs of employees. The brand marketing companies have employed thousands of medical representatives and marketing professionals who will become jobless.

While speaking to Pharmabiz he said in India the NPPA is regulating the prices of all essential medicines, then what is the need of a separate provision. This mandatory provision for generic prescription may ultimately become disastrous unless the government ensures all manufacturing units comply with WHO-GMP norms, and the products put for marketing by manufacturers and marketers are taken for quality testing in accredited government labs.

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