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The medical watchdog of India has issued a guideline that calls for doctors to prescribe drugs in generic. Last Saturday, the Medical Council of India (MCI) came out with a directive that warned doctors of action if they failed to adhere to prescribe drugs in generic names.

The move is seen as an outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's idea of putting in place a legal framework to ensure that doctors prescribed low cost generic medicines to patients.

In his recent speech in Surat, our Prime Minister has indicated a forthcoming law which will force Doctors to mention the generic drug name in prescriptions. This will provide options to patients and reduce the chance of nexus between Pharmaceutical companies and Medical practitioners.

Please consider the following Facts before you take a position on Branded Vs Generics medicine.

1. To keep a Brand name of any medicine doesn't increase price of the product as it cost nothing extra but The branding company becomes accountable for its effectiveness to the buyers.

2. A significant amount of cost of any medicine is for its proper packaging, storing, assurance of long Stability as per expiry date, Ensuring cold chain or appropriate transportation, Accountability on Quality etc which is assured by Branded medicine of good companies as it require huge manpower and additional cost. Thus its provides value for money to the consumers. In case of generics, one need to be very sure about such assurance of quality of medicine.

3. Will we be interested to buy a product which does not have best quality or effectiveness assurance? We will always prefer to buy a Branded water bottle, clothes, toothpaste, oil, perfumes, different groceries until we are not very sure on quality assurance of Non-Branded products. Under such circumstances, can a Dr will prefer to take RISK to prescribe any medicine until he is not sure about its effectiveness only because there could be a price difference. Who will be accountable for the assured effectiveness?

4. We all know, even celebrities are also try to avoid advertise a product until they are not very sure about its harmless effects to people or society. When Dr is answerable to cure patients which he can only happen with effective medicines. Do we still want Drs to take RISK of our life? by prescribing medicine which he is not sure about quality?

5. In our country, please search in google, Govt has got departments like DPCO ( Drug Price Control Order), NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority) who are authorised to fix MRP (Maximum Retail Price) of all Branded medicine. So how different companies are keeping higher price of their Brands?

Who is responsible for it? DOCTORS or AUTHORITIES? Why Govt trying to PUSH unsure quality of generics Medicines rather than controlling price of good companies Branded Medicine??? Where quality is assured. How will it help by blaming Doctors?

6. The million dollar question is who are benefited most from Generics medicines? *Please don't miss this information*. *In case of Branded medicine, Distribution partners can't get more than 20% margin from MRP, but generics can give them any % of margin. Most of the time Patients are paying at MRP for generics products which is almost similar to Branded products. So if Drs are forced to prescribe Generics medicine, it's the distribution partners are going to be benefited most, may not be the Patients. Remember generics are without assurance of quality of the medicine.

7. Do we know there are lots of medicines are available which are spurious and not much effective or quality is compromised.? Who will take accountability of ineffectiveness of such medicines. Why anyone in India is allowed to manufacture medicine without proper approval of manufacturing facilities to ensure quality.

8. Think of a time & place when we are unable get a doctor, we need him most. How helpless we become to save and do something for our near and dear ones life. Even then we are not respectful to our Doctors who will do everything to keep us better with his knowledge and understanding. (Let's not go by exceptions).

9. How will it be possible for a doctor to prescribe combinations for compliance when multiple generics are in a single pill, during his OPD where dr has to treat good number of patients with limited time. Most of the time patients can't continue therapy due to more number of Pills which is evident from surveys.

10. How long diversion of focus from inaction of the government and underdevelopment of the society as compared to progressive countries, will be converted into softer people like Drs and illogical issues. How long such hypocrisy of Intelligent people will dominate the simple thinking common man.

Assuming that such a law is actually passed, how big will be the impact on Pharmaceutical marketing in India? Choose your answer -

A) Insignificant - almost none.

B) Significant but limited - some changes in market shares, some restructuring in promotional approaches towards doctors.

C) Massive - will modify market shares, many companies will change prices drastically. Promotions will be completely targeted at Pharmacies instead of Doctors.

What do you think?

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