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73% of India's doctors oppose prescribing generics over branded versions

Published on 09/05/17 at 10:17am

Following a recent push by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for doctors in the country to prescribe generic drugs over their branded versions, a new survey has shown that a majority of the nation’s medical professionals do not agree with the move, with patient safety at the forefront of their concerns.

Modi’s decision in April was made on a cost-saving basis, given the price margin between branded treatments and their generic counterparts.

Survey data gathered by Curofy, India’s largest community of verified doctors, showed that as much as 73% of the country’s medical professionals oppose the use of generic drugs over branded ones, fearing that the government’s plan lacks real substance, leaving patient health at risk. This risk is primarily due to India’s problem with reliable drug quality as a result of a lack of regulatory framework comparable to western equivalents.

Concerns were also raised over the ability and qualifications of decision-makers at pharmacies which would be dispensing the treatments.

“Doctors are concerned about prescribing generic medicines and rightly so,” explained Mudit Vijayvergiya, co-founder Curofy. “It will give power to chemists and pharmacists and might deteriorate the already deficient trust between doctors and patients. A certain section of medical community feels if only generic drugs are to be prescribed, the government should move towards discontinuing brands in the market.”

Matt Fellows

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