Pharma lobby conspiracy

Pharma loot in the name of expensive medicines in India NMC withdrew the decision of generic medicine under the pressure of pharma lobby

Pharma lobby conspiracy

   People of the world have to take different types of medicines to protect their health. People spend 10% to 25% of their income on medicines. At least if we consider, the business of about Rs 200 lakh crore in the whole world is only of medicines. The World Health Organization also believes that in many countries of the world where there is poverty, crores of patients lose their lives because they are unable to buy medicines and crores of people die every year in the world due to lack of medicines and treatment.

Pharma trap, need of medicines in every house

Due to the Corona epidemic and the increasing lifestyle diseases, new diseases are emerging in every household. Due to new diseases, medicines have become an essential part of every household. And people are spending a large part of their income on medicines.
The World Health Organization is in favor of the unhindered movement of generic medicines to enable people to access health facilities and considers generic medicines essential for the implementation of the right to health at the global level. The World Health Organization is in favor of making life saving medicines like AIDS or cancer available all over the world at the lowest prices.
You can get an idea of the importance of generic medicines in the field of health from the fact that the World Health Organization says that if we make generic medicines mandatory in developing and developed countries, then we can reduce the health expenditure by up to 70%. 

Why are patent branded medicines expensive

The profits of pharmaceutical companies in branded medicines are very high and the commission is distributed systematically from the medical store to the doctors. Gifts are given, medical seminars are conducted, doctors are given holidays on top of big international packages Is sent abroad. Lakhs of crores are spent on branded medicines in the name of sales promotion and marketing and by doing all this, branded medicines become 10 to 100 times more expensive than generic medicines.
Medicines are also called International Medicines – Generic Medicines Generic Medicines – Generic Nonproprietary Names (INN) Medicines. These medicines are manufactured in the same way as the branded medicines. According to the parameters of the World Health Organization's List of Essential Drugs they are manufactured according to the World Health Organisation.

What is generic medicine?

A medicine is manufactured after research and innovation. The company that discovers the drug takes its patent, which is for about 20 years. Only that company manufactured the medicine for 20 years. After the expiry of the patent, any other company or country can manufacture that medicine. Such medicines are called generic medicines. These generic medicines are sold with or without any famous name. Its usefulness and formulation are similar to that of patent medicines because the company producing generic medicines does not spend on research and marketing. Therefore their prices are many times lower than patent branded medicines. Also, many times the government also controls the prices of generic medicines. The government does not control the price of patented branded medicines, the companies themselves decide how much profit they will earn. Since the formula of these generic medicines is the same as the original medicine, their effect is equal to that of any patented branded medicine.

Why are generic medicines cheaper?

The name of generic medicines is decided by an expert committee on the basis of the active ingredient present in that medicine. The generic name of any medicine is the same all over the world, for example, the generic name of a medicine that reduces fever or the name of the active ingredient is Paracetamol. So the brand name of fever medicine can be any all over the world but the generic name will be only Paracetamol. Almost all the renowned pharmaceutical companies of the country manufacture branded as well as low priced generic medicines, but in order to earn more profit, the doctor prescribes only the branded medicines and the companies or medical store operators also do not inform the people about this. Due to which patients have to buy expensive medicines from chemists.
Generic drug manufacturers do not have to spend extra money for drug discovery and pre-clinical control trials. For this reason also generic medicines are cheaper than branded patent medicines. 
The company promotes branded medicines through its medical representatives to earn more profits, but neither the pharmaceutical company promotes generic medicines nor the doctors want to promote generic medicines due to not getting commission. Are. Even if a patient demands generic medicine from a chemist, the medicine seller denies its availability the business of branded medicines not only increases due to marketing, but also their promotion and sales continue to increase on the basis of the benefit that doctors get from prescribing branded medicines.

How can I benefit from generic medicines?

For example, in 2013, the price of Novartis Pharma's brand name Glivec for blood cancer is around Rs 1,20,000, while the price of Veenat, another drug with the same active ingredient or salt, is around Rs 1,20,000 per month. It is only Rs 11,400 per month. Whereas Cipla provides the equivalent generic medicine Imatib for only Rs 8,000 and Glenmark makes the same medicine available for Rs 5,720.
From this example you can understand that a patient who had to spend Rs 1,14,000 per month can get the same medicine in generic form for only Rs 5,720. Whose effect, whose benefits, whose quality is the same as that of a medicine worth Rs 1,14,000. Due to which a patient can get treatment for 20 months at the cost of one month's medicine, that is, generic medicine is 20 times cheaper than branded medicine.
Similarly, if we take a generic capsule or tablet of B-complex, it costs 10 paise and the branded tablet ranges from 2 to 35 rupees, the generic tablet of Paracetamol 500 mg costs 10 paise, the same for the branded one it becomes worth 1 to 2 rupees. A salt generic medicine named Cetirizine costs 20 paise per tablet and a branded tablet costs Rs 5. Any protein powder or normal multivitamin generic which is available for Rs 30-35, as soon as it is branded its price goes from Rs 200 to Rs 600 to Rs 700.

Looting through branded medicines

The Government of India, through the Department of Pharmaceuticals, started the work of establishing Jan Aushadhi Kendras in 2008 with the aim of providing non-branded generic medicines to the patients at fair and affordable prices through retail shops. But if the doctor does not write the generic name of the medicine or the active ingredient of the medicine while prescribing the medicine, then the patient is forced to buy the same branded medicines and expensive medicines, due to which this government initiative does not provide the benefits that should be given, because the doctors are interested in their profits. Hesitate to prescribe generic medicines due to On prescribing generic medicine, they are not able to get any kind of commission or gift etc. for making sales, due to which they feel that they will suffer loss by prescribing generic medicine. All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists Organizing Secretary
Sandeep ji says that there is a pharmacy industry worth Rs 2 lakh crore in the country in which currently the share of generic medicines is only 10%. Experts say that medicines are made from salts and molecules, trade or name does not matter while buying the medicine. The same salt or molecule will have the same effect as the salt present inside the branded medicine. The effect of generic medicines is similar to that of branded medicines and the side effects of generic medicines are also similar to those of branded medicines.

Supreme Court's instructions related to generic medicines

The code of conduct issued by the Medical Council of India in 2002 called on doctors to prescribe medicines only by their generic names.
America itself buys more than 40% of its generic medicines from India, Britain itself buys more than 25% of its generic medicines from India. India is at the leading position in supplying generic medicines to the entire world. India is called the pharmacy of the world but how ironical it is that there is no law in India where doctors must compulsorily prescribe generic medicines.
Conscious people of the country have been demanding mandatory use of generic medicines from time to time. On August 19, on the PIL filed by an activist Kishan Chand Jain, a bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardi Vala and Manoj Mishra in the Supreme Court ordered the generic notice issued in favor of medicines. Kishan Chand Jain ji had demanded in his petition that at least the business name of the medicines which do not have a patent should be banned, for example, if you buy a Paracetamol tablet from the market, it costs 10 paise and at the same time, If we buy it by its brand name then its price increases many times more. The demand was also raised in the petition that strict action should be taken against those doctors who do not write the names of generic medicines in clear capital letters. The Indian Medical Council also amended a model code of conduct for doctors in October 2016 to recommend that every physician should prescribe medicines with clearly readable generic names. Which will promote the use of generic medicines.
Recently, on 2nd August 2023, a rule was made by the National Medical Commission in the Government of India that every registered medical practitioner must clearly use the medicine in generic names only, he cannot write any kind of branded patent name. Besides, the regulation also said that no registered medical practitioner should prescribe unnecessary medicines and without necessary dosages, only rational medicines should be prescribed. If this rule is violated, the doctor will be warned and if the rule is repeatedly violated, his license can also be canceled for some time. Along with this, the National Medical Commission also told the doctors that they will not be able to attend any seminar, workshop or conference which is sponsored directly or indirectly by the pharmaceutical companies or the related health sector. Besides, doctors and their families were also banned from accepting any kind of gifts from pharmaceutical companies or their representatives.

Absurd protest by Indian Medical Association

The Indian Medical Association immediately strongly protested against this decision. He argued that since generic medicines undergo quality checks of less than 0.1 per cent, the health of patients may be harmed as their quality is not guaranteed. Until the government assures the quality of all the medicines in the market, the rule of prescribing generic medicines should be postponed. Doctors are not aware of the quality of generic medicines, branded patent medicines are of very good quality and hence they are expensive. Prescribing generic medicine will cause harm to the patient, IMA openly opposes this decision of the government started protesting against it and held separate press conferences to create an atmosphere of protest, calling it an injustice to the doctors and saying it would cause harm to patients. On the contrary, some doctors' organizations even started saying that making rules for prescribing generic medicines is an injustice to the doctors and the Indian Medical Association said that the government should take the responsibility of prescribing generic medicines which will not affect the patients.

Benefits of generic medicines

Whereas the conscious people advocating generic medicines say that it will not harm but will benefit the patients, the cost of treatment of the patients will be reduced by 70-80%. Doctors themselves do not even go inside any branded company and check its quality, but because a branded company gives them gifts and presents, the same medicine becomes of very high quality for them. Therefore, a group advocating for the patients demanded that the government should strictly implement its decision so that the people of the country can be saved from this loot in the health sector.

Status and quality of generic medicines in India

Presently the market of generic medicines in India is about Rs 2,00,000 crore which is growing at the rate of about 7%. In a country like India where people do not have the necessary money to spend on health services, people's medicine expenditure can still be controlled to a great extent by making generic medicines mandatory.
India's share of generic medicines in the market of many countries is up to 90%. Today, generic medicines made in India are in demand in developed and developing countries of the world including America, Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan, Britain. In the financial year 2017-18, SFDA had tested 323 drug samples from different countries across the world, including more than 100 samples of generic drugs from India. According to the USFDA report, all the samples were found to be correct as per the US Pharmacopoeia. If we look at the consumption of Indian generic medicines in America, then the quality of Indian generic medicines cannot be questioned in any way.
SFDA has given clean chit to most of the pharmaceutical companies of India after finding that the standards related to the new manufacturing plant are correct and for the last few years, India has been recognized as the world's leading pharmaceutical company at the global level it is called pharmacy and the credibility of Indian drug manufacturers is very high all over the world. An example of this is that in the last 10 years, there has been a 400% reduction in the cases of medicines manufactured in India by SFDA.
In the year 2019-20, India exported medicines worth 20 billion US dollars (1 lakh 60 thousand crore rupees) to the world. Considering such huge exports, it cannot be said that the quality of generic medicines in India is bad. If the quality was bad then the whole world would not have imported generic medicines from India. Today the whole world is taking advantage of India's generic medicines and in India itself there are no rules and regulations that make the use of generic medicines mandatory to protect the patients from looting.

Generic drug use in America

According to a Generic Pharmaceutical Association analysis in 2014 alone, 88% of the United States' 4.3 billion doctor prescriptions were for generic drugs. This means that in America 88% Doctors prescribe generic medicines during their training. Similarly, in the year 2012 also, 84% of the prescriptions written in America were for generic drugs only. In 2010 alone, the use of generic drugs in the American health system resulted in a saving of 158 billion dollars, an average saving of 3 billion dollars every week i.e. Rs 24,000 crore. Net savings were made only in the US from the use of generic drugs. In 2014 alone, the use of generic drugs in the United States saved US$254 billion, or Rs 20 lakh crore, in health care.
Even in America, generic medicines have been promoted by making rules and spreading awareness. In 1984, only 14% of prescriptions in the US were for generic drugs. This increased to 66% in 2006, and in 2011, 83% of prescription drugs in the US were generic.

Looting in the name of branded medicines in India

About 7% of India's population regularly takes medicines for some disease or the other. On an average, the average expenditure on medicines of a family for a year is about Rs 3,638. There have been many such cases in India where some doctors take commission ranging from 10-20 percent to 40-50% for prescribing a particular brand of medicine. They keep the medicine of the same pharma company which gives them higher commission in their medical store and instead of writing the name of the generic medicine or salt on the patient's prescription, they write the name of that particular brand which is available to the patient at some other shop in the entire city. It is not available and that medicine is available only at that particular medical store of the doctor. There is open looting of patients through such medicines.

72% people believe that their doctor takes commission

According to a survey, 60% of the people surveyed believe that doctors should mention both the branded medicine and its generic name together so that people can make decisions based on the availability of medicines and their price while purchasing medicines. In the same survey, there were 72% people who believed that their doctors take commission through various means like from testing laboratories, from nursing homes, from hospitals, from pharmaceutical companies, from chemists. ,

National Medical Commission withdrew its decision

As soon as the decision to prescribe generic medicines was implemented, the Indian Medical Association and the Federation of Resident Doctors Association contacted Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in the Central Government and expressed their protest. A few days after the decision, the National Medical Commission put a stop to the decision making it mandatory for doctors to prescribe generic medicines and said that along with generic medicines, doctors can also prescribe other medicines. 


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