The government has been doling out initiatives in its efforts to promote the use of generic drugs
The government will soon make it mandatory for pharmacies to set a separate shelf with generic medicines for customers to easily identify lesser expensive options.
According to a Mint report, the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) “agreed to keep a separate rack/shelf reserved solely for the storage of generic medicines in a part of the premises separated from other medicines, which shall be visible to consumers”, as stated in the minutes of a DTAB meeting held on 12 February.
The report notes that the government is carrying out its efforts in this direction to break the understanding which arises between the doctors and the chemists. This leads to patients bearing the brunt of higher priced, branded medicines.
The government has been doling out initiatives in its efforts to promote the use of generic drugs. The government launched the Jan Aushadhi Scheme in 2015 to sell generic drugs at an affordable rate at affordable prices in Jan Aushadhi Stores (JAS).
So far, the government is selling 700 products, and is now looking to increase its inventory to a 1000 products.
Officials who spoke to the paper said that a change in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act may be required to allow pharmacists to sell a generic variant of the drugs prescribed by the doctor, a step which the government has considered.
A draft pharmaceutical policy states aimed for the manufacturers to sell their drugs with only the name of the salt (the active ingredient of the drug) stamped on the packaging as opposed to current practice of selling their products with along with the brand packaging.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Indian face the largest expenses out of their pockets for health care. Close to 63 million people fall into poverty annually due to the high cost of their health care expenses.The Medical Council of India (MCI) had called for doctors to prescribe generic medicines in 2016.