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Deccan Herald
20 June 2012

The State government will open the first generic drug store to sell medicines at less than 50 per cent of the maximum retail price (MRP)on the Victoria Hospital premises on June 21.

Medical Education Minister S A Ramdas told reporters on Tuesday, "Life–saving medicines, branded, surgical and essential drugs, orthopaedic implants, Cipla, Torrent and Intas brand drugs will be also sold at less than 50 per cent of MRP," he said.

Pilot basis

Hospitals coming under the Medical Education Department would be instructed to prescribe only generic drugs. "I am aware of protests by pharma companies and private medical stores. This (Janata Bazaar) drug store will be opened on an experimental basis and extended to other medical college hospitals in the State in a month’s time," the minister said.

He said only drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be sold in the drug store and the Drug Controller will have to do a quality check and submit a report every three months to the government. There will be no opportunity given to anyone to resell these drugs.

On doctors who refuse to serve in rural areas, Ramdas said an ordinance would be passed

in a few days, as per which post-graduate students who defy the government order would be fined Rs 25 lakh, postgraduate diploma students Rs 15 lakh and MBBS students Rs 10 lakh.

He said there were 2,316 public health centres in the State. Despite paying doctors an All India Council for Technical Education scale – Rs 620 crore has been kept aside for the purpose – not many of them are coming forward to serve in rural areas, Ramdas said.

Holistic treatment

A government order was issued recently to adopt a holistic approach in treating patients in medical college hospitals in the State.

Ramdas said that a four–member committee had been formed to submit a report by July 15, on implementing the unique, integrated approach. Holistic care will include ayurveda, homoeopathy, allopathy and music therapy.

What is in the name

A generic drug is a product comparable to brand/reference listed drug in dosage form, strength, route of administration, quality and performance characteristics, and intended use.

It also refers to any drug marketed under its chemical name without advertising. For example, paracetamol is sold as crocin in a brand name. Under generic drug, it will be sold as paracetamol only.

Comparative rates of generic and branded drugs

* Albendazole 400 Tab(1)   1.60   17.75  Zentel   18.40
* Atenolol 50 Tab (14)   3.60   22.00  Aten   46.87
* Atorvastatin 10 Tab (10)   12.50   77.00  Atorva   104.49
* Azithromycin 250 Tab (6)   26.00   85.00  Azithral   92.50
* Cetrizine 10 Tab (10)   1.20   32.00  Cetzine   37.50
* Ciprofloxacin 500 Tab (10)   13.30   61.75  Cifran   99.50
* Metformin 500 Tab (20)   8.20   23.00  Glyciphage  23.79
* Nimesulide 100 Tab (15)   2.60   35.25   Nise   52.30
* Pantoprazole 40 Tab (10)   10.60   76.00   Pantodac   80.08
* Paracetamol 500 Tab (15)   4.60   12.50   Calpol   18.15

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