Srinagar, July 07: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday called for public awareness on generic drugs.
“We need to create awareness among people about the fact that generic drugs are equal to their branded counterparts in terms of strength, quality, efficacy and safety. And, they cost 80 to 90 percent less than the branded medicines as manufactures do not have to spend on the development and promotion of the drug,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
Dr Hassan said negative perception has been created that because generic drugs are cheaper, they will be less effective.
As a result people buy only costly branded medicines leading to heavy healthcare costs among the public.
“We need to raise awareness among people that would change their perception towards generic drugs,” he said adding “more education for both doctors and patients would increase the prescriptions and use of generic drugs.”
The DAK President said research has shown that out-of-pocket costs were lowered significantly among patients who were prescribed generic medicines compared with patients who had been given branded drugs.
Additionally, patients who had been prescribed generic drugs for chronic medical conditions, like diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular ailments were more likely to follow medication therapies.
“Studies have found that generic drugs significantly reduce deaths among cancer patients,” he said.
“It was because of generic drugs that saved millions of lives of patients with AIDS,” he added.
Dr Nisar said while generic drug use has increased over time, in JK doctors continue to dole out expensive therapies when equally effective and cheaper versions are available.
This is in violation to the recommendations of National Medical Council (NMC) which mandates prescribing of generic drugs.
“Unless a legal framework is put in place, the push for generic medicines will remain an idea without implementation,” he said.