Even as the Union government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) are insisting on the generic prescription of all drugs by the specialists, specialists are of the view that the government and the regulating body, before making it compulsory, must ensure that the whole drug manufacturing and marketing system in the country is hundred percent foolproof and completely 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 advisor in Chennai, Manikantan S A, said that before insisting on the generic prescription the government must focus on sprucing up the drug manufacturing system all through the country.
However, Manikantan, who formerly served as the managing director of Grandix Pharmaceuticals and CEO of Global Brands of Strides Arcolab Ltd, being introduced by the central and state governments towards a healthy society.
If one specialist decides a particular molecule and recommends the generic name, only the pharmacist at the medicinal shop will determine which company’s generic product should be dispensed to the patient. The specialist has no role there and selection of medicine will turn into the discretion of the pharmacist.
Normally he will give the most beneficial generic version. Notwithstanding for the generic products, prices may vary as indicated by different producers, he opined.
“The useful generic version may not be of good quality. Here, the patients will land in peril, particularly those with chronic lifestyle disease. If one specialist prescribes the brand, it will convince as the patient is completely aware of the quality, viability, and safety of that brand. The specialists dependably consider the life of his patient more than the money he gets. We are shifting the decision-making system, by prescribing generic names, from the specialist 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.”
There are several fixed combination drugs like syrup, pediatric products, anti-diabetics, anti-hypertensive, etc. The specialist can’t 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 to anything they do. Indicating on several drawbacks due to this new policy, he said if the generic prescription is made necessary, aside from industry; it will impact more on lakhs of employees. The brand marketing companies have employed thousands of medical representatives and marketing experts who will become jobless.
He said in India the NPPA is regulating the prices of all essential medicines, and then what is the need for a separate provision.
This mandatory provision for a generic prescription may eventually end up disastrous unless the government ensures all manufacturing units comply with WHO-GMP standards, and the products put for marketing by makers and marketers are taken for quality testing in certify government labs.