Generic Medicine Store in West Bengal

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As one of the ordinary citizen of the state of West Bengal, I sincerely feel that there is an emergent need to form Generic Medicine Store for the poor, as the same has been adopted in Rajasthan to benefit the poor especially people from BPL category.

I understand there are several other aspects which the state government is engaged with to bring social reforms but I also understand that health and medicare is our topmost priority and it requires immediate redressal for any lacuna therein.

The cost of production of most of the drugs is many times less than the retail price (MRP) printed on it. Generic medicines are not new types of medicines, these are abundantly available everywhere in India. These are drugs which have come out of the patent duration of 20 years and now, apart from the original innovator company, any other pharmaceutical manufacturer can produce this salt after getting due permission from the drug control authorities. In fact, 97% of the drugs in the Indian market are generics (or branded generics). But even these are sold at high prices, because they are prescribed by doctors and supplied by manufacturers under brand names. Branding limits the choice for the patient, kills competition and creates artificial monopoly, and enables the manufacturers to charge a very high MRP.

The doctor plays a key role not only in prescribing drugs by generic name but also in convincing the patients that these drugs are 100% identical to commonly used brands in quality, ie, they have the same identity, purity, strength, bioequivalence and effectiveness, provided the doctor himself is convinced of these facts. Even when you open a low-cost generic drug shop the patient won’t get the price benefit unless the doctor is inclined to help him.

The patient must also be made to understand that although he is getting a particular drug at a very low price compared to the printed MRP or his doctor’s favourite brand, it is in no way different or inferior. It will have the same effect.

We request you to take necessary action by doing the needful in the aforesaid regard.

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