IMA re-emphasizes on the one drug-one price-one company policy

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The word ‘Brand’ has nothing to do with the words ‘generic’ or ‘patented’ drugs.

New Delhi, 22 December 2017: More than 95% of the drugs available in India are generic with no patent. They are available in the market with a generic name, trade name, or brand name from the same company. Being with no patent, over one thousand companies can market a single molecule. The word brand means a way to differentiate various generic drugs from each other.

A generic drug is the same as a brand name drug in dosage, safety, strength, how it is taken, quality, performance, and intended use. Before approving a generic drug product, FDA requires many rigorous tests and procedures to assurethat the generic drug can be substituted for the brand name drug.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “The patented drugs are introduced in the market by the original company that researched the basic molecule. Let us take the example of Pfizer, which introduced two original molecules – Amlodipine and Sildenafil – and launched them in the international market as Amlogard (Amlodipine) and Viagra (Sildenafil). Being their research molecules, Pfizer had exclusive rights for 10 years based on their patent. These drugs are called patented drugs and the pharmaceutical company will have exclusive rights to them till the patent expires. After 10 years as the patent period expires, other companies can also market these molecules under their own brand name or as generic molecules. These are called non-patented generic version of the drugs.”

India is the largest exporter of generic versions of the drugs in the world as they can manufacture drugs at fraction of a cost compared to international brands. The word ‘Brand’ has nothing to do with the words ‘generic’ or ‘patented’ drugs.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “In India, generic versions of drugs can be sold in the name of molecule (generic-generic) or brand (generic-brand).The only thing that the IMA wants is that all generic versions of drugs in India should be permitted to be sold only at one price by one company. At present, the generic versions are being sold at three different prices (generic-generic, trade-generic and branded-generic) by the same company.”

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 and he / she shall ensure that there is a rational prescription and use of drugs. The interpretation is as follows.

  • Use of Generic names of drugs: it’s not use of generic drugs
  • Every physician should: the word SHOULD makes it binding
  • As far as possible means to the best of his or her capacity
  • Prescribe drugs with generic names:  is not the same as prescribing generic drugs. It only means the name of the salt should also be written.
  • Shall ensure that there is a rational prescription: Rational means prescription of drugs which are evidence based and or with informed consent.
  • Rational use of drugs: means the same when dispensing.