Govt Plans to Symbolize & Colour Code Generic Drugs
In order to promote low-cost generic medicines, The New Delhi Government has planned to color-code drugs so that the consumers can easily differentiate between generic medicines and other drugs and take an informed decision while purchasing them from chemists, to make generic medicines easily identifiable the Government is also planning to use symbols.
Lately various measures has been taken by the health ministry to encourage the sale of generic medicines over-branded ones. It has now been made mandatory by the Government for pharmacies to have separate shelves for displaying generic drugs and asked doctors to prescribe drugs by generic names in legible handwriting. The companies are being given instructions by the drug regulator to print generic names on their labels in a font which is two font sizes larger than the brand name.
By strengthening the backend supply chain The government is planning to promote the stores which sell only generic drugs like Jan Aushadhi stores. At present, there are over 3,000 such stores across the country.
At a recent Drugs Consultative Committee meeting, the proposal to color-code generic medicines was discussed. The coding system which is going to be used by the Government is likely to be similar to the codes that are used in food products to differentiate between vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Soon The government is expected to draw a detailed proposal on the matter, which will be put out for stakeholder consultations.
In a recent Research, it was seen that 70% of the Rs 1 lakh crore local pharmaceutical market is dominated by branded generics, whereas patented medicines constitute around 9%.
Last year, a concern was raised by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over the high trade margins included in prices of branded medicines. CCI Highlighted the role of intermediaries in increasing costs, the antitrust regulator had requested the authorities to find mechanisms to market generic medicines. Later In a policy notice, the CCI said high margins were a form of an indirect marketing tool employed by pharma companies.
Increased use of generics can reduce the burden of out of pocket expenditure on healthcare said “the World Health Organisation”.