Medicines and Supplements

In pharmacology, a drug is a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention or diagnosis of a disease. According to World Health Organization (WHO) a drug is any substance or product which is used or intended to be used to modify the physiological systems or pathological states for the benefit of the recipient.

Generic Medicines

Generic medicines are unbranded medicines which are equally safe and having the same efficacy as that of branded medicines in terms of their therapeutic value. The prices of generic medicines are much cheaper than their branded equivalent.

The Generic Drugs have to pass all equivalency tests like patent drugs and are considered as therapeutic equivalent. This means that the drug will do the same thing via the same mechanism, and will also follow the same distribution, metabolism and elimination pathways in the body, just like brand name drugs.

  • Research shows that generics work just as well as brand name drugs.
  • When it comes to price, there is a big difference between generic and brand name drugs. On an average, the cost of a generic drug is 80 to 85 percent lower than the brand name product.

Generic manufacturers are able to sell their products for lower prices because they are not required to repeat the costly clinical trials of new drugs and generally do not pay for costly advertising, marketing, and promotion. In addition, multiple generic companies are often approved to market a single product; this creates competition in the market place, often resulting in lower prices. The Indian government has made the use of Generic medicines a must.

Myths and Facts about Generic Drugs

Myth-Brand name drugs are always better than older generic drugs.
Fact-A generic drug is the same as a brand-name drug in dosage, safety, strength, quality, the way it works, the way it is taken and the way it should be used.

Myth-Generic drugs cause more allergic reactions and negative side effects.
Fact- There is no such proof that generic drugs cause more allergies or side effects than brand name drugs. A few people may have side effects when switching from one drug to another, but this does not happen often with generic drugs than with brand name drugs.

Myth-Generics don’t have to pass the same quality tests as brand medicines.
Fact- The Generic Drugs have to pass all equivalency tests like patent drugs and are considered as therapeutic equivalent. This means that the drug will do the same thing via the same mechanism, and will also follow the same distribution, metabolism and elimination pathways in the body, just like brand name drugs.

Myth-Generic drugs cost less because they are inferior to brand name drugs.
Fact- Generic manufacturers are able to sell their products for lower prices because they are not required to repeat the costly clinical trials of new drugs and generally do not pay for costly advertising, marketing, and promotion.

Myth-People who are switched to a generic drug are risking treatment failure.
Fact-There is no evidence for this claim. Treatment failures can and do occur when taking generic or brand name drugs. If someone is switched to a generic drug around the time they are relapsing, they may attribute the problem to the switch.

References :
Dept of Pharmaceuticals
Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India
Generic medicines campaign improving  access to medicines
Safe Medicines India
Indian Drug Manufacturer Association
Open Source Drug Discovery

  • PUBLISHED DATE : Nov 17, 2015
  • PUBLISHED BY : Zahid
  • CREATED / VALIDATED BY : NHP Admin
  • LAST UPDATED ON : Nov 17, 2015