PM Modi: A New Law for Doctors to Prescribe Generic Drugs?

PM Narendra Modi, announced that the government will bring a new law for doctors to prescribe generic drugs. Moreover, he has indicated that his government will make legal arrangements to ensure that doctors prescribe cheaper medicines to the patients.

What did the PM say?

On Monday, April 17th during the inauguration of a hospital in Surat PM Narendra Modi commented that his government has brought in a health policy after 15 years and crowned the rates of medicines such as stents.

He mentioned that poor people have to buy medicines at higher rates from private stores. Moreover, such issues arise because people do not understand the Doctor’s handwriting. Additionally, he added that the government will make legal preparations so that doctors write generic prescriptions.

He revealed that if a person is not from a middle-class family, then the financial state of the entire family is shattered due to the higher cost of branded drugs. He mentioned that in our country doctors are few, hospitals are less and medicines are expensive.

Implications of the Proposed Law?

We believe based on the PM’s proposed law Doctors would not be able to provide branded drug prescriptions. In addition such situations would arise in cases in which generic alternatives are available.

However, the environment and reach to provide generic drugs do not exist in today’s healthcare marketplace in India. Therefore, the time to move into a full-fledged generic based platform such as OECD countries would take at least 5 years.

Drug Prescription post legal implementation?

Currently branded drug prescription across OECD countries stands at 20% of all prescriptions.To take preventive measures we suggest Doctors use generic medicines compared to branded drugs in situations in which generic alternatives are available. Prescribe branded drugs only wherever necessary. 

Lastly, we suggest doctors involve the patient in choices about their drug prescriptions and respect patient autonomy.

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