Educating the Indian population is key for Indian consumers to understand generic medicine is safe
The survey conducted in 2014 by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) on healthcare shows that Healthcare expenses pushed 60 million Indians beneath the poverty line in the year 2011. Therefore, even the smallest reductions in medicine prices will uplift households from medical poverty. Therefore, Generic medicines become an important factor in reducing healthcare costs.
Unfortunately, there is a large amount of confusion, miscommunication, knowledge gap among almost all stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry and, hence, among consumers regarding generic medicines. Also, the practice of prescribing medicines by brand names instead of drug names leads to low confidence at consumer’s end in switching to generic. Further, the term ‘generic’ also brings doubts in the minds of consumers. This practice hits at the very root of the aim to make medical care affordable to all sections of society. However, consumers must realize that the medicine has the same composition as branded medication and will have the same effects. The practice of prescribing medicines by brand names must stop and medication must be prescribed by the composition instead. This will largely help to tackle hesitance amongst consumers. Therefore, Indian consumers must get adequately educated about the “effectiveness and efficacy” of High-Quality affordable generic medicines.
Complete awareness of Generic Medicines in terms of quality and safety has a long way to go. However, approaching and educating the younger generation such as undergraduate students of medicine, lower-income groups in villages, and tire 3 cities will help spread the understanding that generic medicine is safe and reliable.
Educating individuals from these groups will help lay a firm foundation for the future in terms of using generic drugs While students and professors at medical schools will help lay the foundation, the next onus lies on an individual while buying the prescribed drug from retail chains. The pharmaceutical stores and E-pharma’s can be a guiding hand towards passing knowledge about various generic drugs sold and should always remain stocked with both patented and generic medications.
While education will raise awareness and bridge the knowledge gap on quality standards and safety around generic medicines, further government interventions in terms of policies, regulations over and above the Jan Aushadhi” mission will quicken the acceptance and usage of generic medication and help change the mindset of individuals.