Punjab Medical Council (PMC) has welcomed the public notice issued by the union ministry of health and family welfare on use of generic names of drugs rather than the brand names.
The ministry also sought public opinion by issuing the notice. Dr GS Grewal, president of PMC, said the cost of medicines was nearly 60% of the total cost of medical care by an individual.
"The use of generic names will substantially bring down the cost. The feeling in the mind of the people that the generic drugs are not effective is not correct," said Grewal.
Dr Arun Mitra, chairman ethical committee A of the PMC, said the benefit of prescribing generic medicines would reach the patients if the aberration in their price structure was removed. "Many a times the difference between the actual price and the maximum retail price is 300% to 400 % where as in the branded medicines the margin of profit is from 20-30%. This needs to be corrected. The government should ensure that the companies reduce the price of medicines and benefit of this is percolated down to the patients," said Mitra.
The issue of same salt of medicines being sold at different prices was also highlighted by Mitra, who said that medicine under different brand names was being sold at varied prices by the chemists.
PMC has also issued a list of medicines that are sold at different prices under generic name and brand name. Paracitamol, which is a salt and has a generic name of Cipmol 650, is sold at MRP of Rs 15 (per 10 tablets) and purchased by a chemist at Rs 5 from the company. The same salt is sold under brand name Dolo 650 at an MRP of Rs 33.50 (15 tablets) with a purchase price of Rs 23.80.
Similarly, amoxicillin salt is sold under generic name at an MRP of Rs 60 (10 capsules) and purchased by chemist at RS 25, while the same salt is sold under brand name of Novamox 500 for Rs 95 (15 capsules) with the purchase price of Rs 71.50.