Knowledge about medicines is very crucial and you must have an idea about it. You may hear about generic medicines many times but it seems confusing. In this article, I will explain you all the important information about generic drugs.
What is a Generic medicine?
Basically, Generic medicines are biologically active copy of the originally developed and patented moiety or chemical compound. A generic can be manufactured and sold only after the expiry of the patent.
Generic drugs does not have any brand, however pharmaceutical companies are available to manufacture generic medicines.
Generic medicines are bio-equivalent to the branded drugs.
Why to patent a medicine?
To invent a drug molecule as a medicine, pharmaceutical company invest a huge amount of money in terms of Research and Development (R&D) of that molecule. Companies always apply and grant a patent for their invention.
Generally, a drug is not allowed to sell by any other company until it’s patent expires in order to recover the cost of the drug.
Why generic medicines are needed?
- There is no difference in safety, efficacy and route of administration with comparison to branded medicine
- Generics are very cost effective than the branded drugs because of no cost involved in R&D
- Generic medicines are manufactured with same ingredient, strength and formulation. Its appearance might be different in shape, taste and color
Generics can be avoided:
- It is not advisable to take generics for the treatment of critical conditions such as epilepsy. Pharmacy will dispense substitute only after confirmation from prescriber as epilepsy has too large normal acceptable equivalence range
- Absorption of generic drugs into the body can slightly vary which is acceptable as per research.
The message from a movie:
Dying to Survive, a Chinese comedy-drama film released in 2018. This movie is based on the real-life story of a Chinese leukaemia patient, who smuggles cancer medicine from India for Chinese cancer patients.
In the plot, the drug is smuggled from India without a license. The medicines is sold to the patients in China at the faction of the original price by the protagonist of the movie, who is eventually arrested.
Natco (A pharmaceutical company), was the manufacturer for aforementioned drug in reality, has not commented on the movie or on the product.
However, who belongs to pharma industry can see a couple of messages coming across from the movie-
- It seems to improve the image of generics Globally
- It underlines the argument that generics can help in improving access to medicines especially that are life-saving
- This movie also makes drug authorities aware about the need to grant faster approval for marketing of newer drugs
Why knowledge of generics is required?
- To avoid any misunderstanding of proper dosing
- Chances of Overdose will be there if patient will take branded and generic forms together for the same ingredient
- Concept of active and inactive ingredients is a must know to avoid any misunderstanding. Label of all the drugs contain printed detail about active ingredient. If we know the active ingredient there will not be any confusion by different brands
- We should continue with a particular generic brand (Pharmaceutical company that manufacture generic drugs) as multiple switches may lead to confusion
No one can sell a Generic medicine with higher price than a branded medicine. Use of generic drugs is a good sign for consumers as-
- It encourages price competition between pharmaceutical companies
- Develops consciousness for the cost difference of medicine among consumer and prescriber
- Consumer can easily select generic by knowing about the active ingredient, however multiple switches should be avoided
- Doctors to prescribe medicines by its active ingredients
- Grow more generic industry
- Give an opportunity to pharmaceutical companies for medicine price monitoring and establish their competitor prices effectively
I hope this article helps you on generic drugs. Even if you have any confusion, please comment us in the box below.