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HindustanTimes Wed,26 Nov 2014

PGI body tells all doctors to prescribe generic medicines

Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, September 03, 2014
First Published: 12:38 IST(3/9/2014) | Last Updated: 12:39 IST(3/9/2014)

The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) staff council, which has all professors as its members, has passed a resolution that all doctors must prescribe medicines with generic names, instead of brand names.

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The issue was discussed in detail at the latest meeting of the staff council.

“It was decided that every doctor of PGIMER, as far as possible, should prescribe drugs with generic names and the doctor’s prescription will be stamped with “supply following drugs or equivalent generic drugs,” the minutes of the meeting said.

In July, to break the doctor-pharmaceutical company nexus, the PGIMER administration had asked chemists that they were not bound to sell medicines of specific brands, even if a doctor prescribed them.  The move had drawn opposition.  

The Medical Council of India (MCI) has also been asking all institutes to ask doctors to prescribe generic medicines.

Branded versus generic

Significantly, branded medicines are those, which are innovated, marketed and sold as new chemical product by a particular company.

However, generic medicines always contain same ingredients which branded medicines comprise. The only difference is that these medicines are produced after expiration of the original patent.

Experts say that it is common misconception about generic drugs that they are inferior in quality, compared to branded drugs. The biggest difference is cost. Generic drugs are generally much cheaper as compared to the branded medicines because the generic companies don’t have to spend money on research and innovation.  

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