NMC puts on hold rules for doctors to prescribe only generic medicines

NMC puts on hold rules for doctors to prescribe only generic medicines

Recently, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has banned doctors from writing only generic medicines as prescription.

Under the Registered Medical Practitioners (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 2023, it has been provisioned that doctors will have to prescribe only generic medicines. NMC has banned this provision.

Generic drugs are drug products which are identical to the branded/listed drugs in terms of dosage, efficacy, route of administration, quality, efficacy and intended use.

There is no definition of generic drugs in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.

After the patent of a branded drug expires, it can be marketed as a generic drug. However, there is a provision for compulsory license under the Indian Patent Act. Under this provision, medicine can be manufactured even without consent during any urgency.

Importance of generic medicine for India:

  • Improves access and availability of critical medicines.
  • Due to its relatively affordable price, health care costs may come down.
  • Often multiple generic drugs are approved for the same product, creating competition.
  • India accounts for 20-22 per cent of global generic drug exports.

Challenges:

  • Lack of quality testing facilities, continuous evergreening of patents,
  • High import dependence for key starting materials,
  • Sellers of fake medicines etc.

Steps taken by the government to promote generic drugs

  • The sale of quality generic medicines is being promoted under the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana.
  • Quality generic medicines are being made available at Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Kendras.
  • Under the National Health Mission, consideration is being given to providing essential generic medicines free of cost.

Source – The Hindu

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