New Delhi: Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Tuesday said that 7507 Pradhan Mantri Bharitya Janaushadhi Kendra (PMBJK) are operational in the country.
Giving a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Choubey said that quality generic medicines are being sold across the country through PMBJKs under ‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana’ (PMBJP).
He said that though there is no definition of generic or branded medicines under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945 made thereunder, however, generic medicines are generally those which contain same amount of same active ingredient(s) in same dosage form and are intended to be administered by the same route of administration as that of branded medicine.
“Drugs manufactured in the country, irrespective of whether they are generic or branded, are required to comply with the same standards as prescribed in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945 made thereunder for their quality. As such they are expected to have similar effects.”
The minister added that the price of an unbranded generic version of a medicine is generally lower than the price of a corresponding branded medicine because in case of generic version, the pharmaceutical company does not spend money on promotion of its brand.
“The sale of a generic version is incentivized by a pharmaceutical company by keeping a high trade margin for wholesalers and retailers.”
Choubey also said that as per rules every physician should prescribe drugs with their generic names, preferably in capital letters.
“Clause 1.5 of Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 prescribes that every physician should prescribe drugs with generic names legibly and preferably in capital letters and he/she shall ensure that there is a rational prescription and use of a drug,” the minister said.
He added that the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has taken various regulatory measures to promote and ensure the quality of generic medicines. (PR)