In India still most of the allopathic drugs falling in the National List of Essential Drugs 2011 are prescribed and sold under brand names eight years after Government of India came up with Jan Aushadi Store program so as to relieve the already suffering community of the unfair burden of inflated MRPs. It has been so since the government infrastructure has not been serious about implementing such corrective scheme on ground. Inspite of the need being so pressing for enforcement of prescription writing by chemical name and promotion of Jan Aushadi Store, still even after naming the programme as Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadi Kendra and BJP led Government being there both at the Center and in J&K there is a microscopic number of Jan Aushadi Kendra in J&K – just 10-11 on paper, that too nearly non-operational. It will not be wrong to say that such disappointing fate of a national level public cause programme can only be due to unfair trade practices inflicted by the implementing agencies.
A very large population, that too from among the senior citizens atleast 80% of whom are not covered by any pension like the retired government servants, are also subjected to treatments under allopathic drugging for hypertension, Cholesterol and Triglycerides management. They are hence being fleeced under the unfair pricingregime by the drug sellers with the assistance of the prescription writers.
Imagine what great challenge a programme like Jan Aushadi Store would have thrown to some of the branded allopathic drugs that are marked with unfair MRP and are sold under prescription of medical practitioners.
Even some leading pharma companies manufacture medicines of same generic stream and same active ingredient having same therapeutic effect separately under different brand names.
But the prices to dealers and retailers for branded generic division medicines could be in some cases with discount of about 80 percent where as that from Brand name channels may be with only 20 to 25 percent
discount for same product to be sold under different trade names. This way it is not only the patient who is fleeced but even the commercial taxes departments is also deceived. In some cases the branded stream products are promoted and sold through retailers leaving disproportionately huge margin for the seller. Hence times demand that efforts be made for prescribing medicines by generic name so that no one can unduly exploit the suffering patients.
Medicines are sold at unfair exorbitant extra margins and profits to benefit more the seller and prescriber. The manufacturers earn directly and indirectly additional money and also keep the prescribing doctors in good humor through incentives using various promotional methods.
In case the use of medicines by generic is promoted, the sale prices would go down due to healthy competition. Even those who exploit the market in the name of branded medicines would come in the market with the same medicines but at cheaper prices. If not for branded medicines, atleast, for the branded generic medicines the prices would be lowered and the retailer margins would certainly reduce. The burden of treatment on the ailing patients would be hence less killing.
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