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Clarification on use of Generic drugs from IMA HQ

posted Feb 12, 2013, 10:57 AM by Ima Kodambakkam
Reproduced below is the message from IMA HQ Hon Secy General Dr Narendra Saini


Dear Member of IMA

It has come to our notice that MCI has issued a circular that every physician, as far as possible, should prescribe drugs with generic names and ensure that there is a rational prescription and use of drugs. In this regard, a meeting was organized by IMA HQs on 6th February, 2013 to discuss the feasibility of this issue.

Please find attached herewith inputs received from this meeting with a request to kindly go through the same and send us your suggestions for further incorporation of the same.

The meeting concluded with the following points

IMA is concerned and is committed in providing cost effective quality drugs to the patient. 70% of the expense of a treatment is on drugs; therefore, Government should evolve a mechanism to reduce the cost of drugs.

1.      There was difference of opinion about the meaning of this statement in the house “Medical Council of India Code of Medical ethics: 1.5 Use of Generic names of drugs: Every physician should, as far as possible, prescribe drugs with generic names”.

According to some members present there, the phrase “Prescribe drugs WITH GENERIC NAME”: It is not the same as prescribing GENERIC DRUGS; it only means that the name of the chemical salt should also be written with the brand name.

Others have the view that only Generic name to be written. Whether you write a brand with a salt name or you write a salt name with name of the pharmaceutical company, it is the same. 

What to do in situation where combinations of salts are use in formulae.
Major concern for us is to evolve a mechanism so that a quality and affordable drug can be given to the patient.
  1. IMA firmly believes that the Govt. should control the MRP of drugs, generic or branded so that benefit reaches the common man. Atleast the price control of MRP of all essential drugs is of paramount importance and their list should be published and revised regularly.
  2. Government of India should undertake measures to strengthen the monitoring system of medicines for quality control of all batches of drugs and it should also cover the Bioavailability aspect.
  3. Supply of quality generic drugs, in different stores of the country.
  4. The IMA members should maintain the rational use of drugs while choosing a drug and ensure it qualifies the criteria: quality safe drug and yet affordable.
  5. The so-called nexus between doctor and chemist or a pharma company, where a doctor is writing a particular brand, a costly brand or a brand only available with particular chemists should be considered unethical.
  6. Since in our country, patients have very limited access about the information of drugs and even persons employed in chemist shops are also not qualified, proper checks and balances are essential to  ensure that patients get the best medicine on physician prescription.

Doctors along with Govt. monitoring and price control are the only mechanisms to ensure patient getting proper medicine in the present circumstances.

  1. The web site of Drug Controller of India should mention the names and addresses of manufacturing and marketing companies authorized by them to ensure the traceability of the product. It should also mention the MRP of drugs.