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Appendix 7 : The Rationality of Generic Names


There are over 60,000 formulations in the country, most doctors prescribe in the range of 60-80 drugs. Unfortunately the choice of these drugs is influenced significantly by marketing practices of the drug companies as has been shown by various studies all over the world.
Use of generic names has a dramatic demystifying value.
The gross differences in prices, in the drug information given the claims made becomes extremely obvious wehn one is aware that the over 2-3 dozens formulations are basically the same generic product with no significant superiority.
The use of generic name has been recommended by UNCTAD, UNIDO, WHO, HATHI COMMITTEE even the national health Policy statement of 1983.
The reason why generic names should be used is given below:

Advantages of Using Generic Names

  1. Only generic names are used in medical and pharmacological text books and in pharmacy education.
  2. Only generic names are used in scientific medical journals and WHO publications.
  3. All purchases of medicines by international tender from inter-national markets are made by generic names.
  4. Use of generic names also ensures production, sale and dispensing of more rational markets are made by generic names.
  5. it will ensure claity by giving information about the class of drug and thus avoid confusion arising out of many dissimilar brand names of one drug.
  6. Quality Drugs are cheaper when purchased under their non-proprietory names than under brand names.
  7. use of non-proprietory names is a valuable aid to memory as it will be easier to learn only selected names and not the names of thousand of brands.
  8. use of generic names will make the selection of essential drugs and formulations for the national hospital formularly easier.
  9. use of generic names will curtail the heavy promotion of brands, costs of which run into millions, and which are ultimately paid by the consumer. This saving could be used for quality testing or research of new products.
  10. Use of generic names demystifies medicine for consumers and health personnel alike. The fact that several dozen, even hundreds of brands and the generic drugs are therapeutically the same, yet differ amazingly in price is an important awareness.
  11. All drugs in the market should be of assured quality. This will remove the excuse to sell branded products of equal quality at exhorbitant prices.

Demands regarding Generic names

  1. Use of prominent generic names should be made mandatory in all new and old drugs.
  2. All drugs in the market should be quality controlled whether brand or generic.
  3. Advantages of generic prescribing should be included in medical training on rational therapeutics and aspects of ongoing medical education so as to communicate the rationale to those who could be the potential resisters of the use.

Regarding generic case in the Supreme Court - acting support from national and international health agencies subscribing to rational drug use and use of generic names should be taken.

Source : AIDAN, op.cit.

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