Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Health ministry pushes for generic medicines

Health ministry pushes for generic medicines
New Delhi,Health/Medicine, Mon, 01 Oct 2012IANS

New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) In a bid to reduce healthcare costs, the union
health ministry plans to bring in a legislation to make it mandatory
for doctors to prescribe generic medicines.
Sources from the ministry say a bill is already being drafted to push
low-cost medicine, along with an ambitious plan to provide free
medicine to all.
"The out-of-pocket expense on healthcare is too high. Generic medicine
will ensure that it is affordable," an official from the ministry
"A bill is being drafted, it will make sure that a list of generic
medicines and combination drugs are available in all districts, and it
is prescribed by doctors," the official said.
The official said that the bill would ensure that both generic and
branded medicines are available on sale side by side.
"The aim is not to bring an end to branded medicine. They shall exist
side by side. Out-of-pocket expenditure for healthcare is 78 percent
of total expenditure on healthcare. Generic medicine would reduce the
burden on the common man," he said.
The official, however, cautioned that there would be need for strict
monitoring and stringent quality control.
An ambitious programme for providing free generic medicines to the
economically weaker sections has already been finallised, and is
likely to be implemented by the year end.
As per data available with the ministry, the government currently
spends only 0.1 percent of GDP on purchase and supply of medicine
through public health centres.
Though India is one of the world's largest exporters of generic drugs,
its domestic market for generic drugs is small. India exports to over
200 countries, including the highly regulated markets of the US,
Europe, Japan and Australia.
Common medicines like paracetamol cost Rs.10 a strip when branded,
while the generic variety costs around Rs.2.45 per strip.
At present, the government has a list of nearly 350 medicines for
which generic varieties will be made available.


Dr P Vyasamoorthy, 30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph
040-27846631 / 9490804278.
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