Awareness of low-cost ‘generic’ medicines sought-A A +A
Thursday, September 6, 2012
ILOILO CITY - The Department of Health (DOH-Western Visayas) revealed that Ilonggos prefer branded medicines over cheaper generic ones adding that people are paying for the manufacturers’ brand name and never for the medicines itself.
In celebrating the Generics Awareness Month this September, Delia Tarrosa, chief of the licensing regulation and enforcement division of DOH-Western Visayas, said there is a need to increase awareness on the availability of low cost, safe, and quality medicines.
Tarrosa said that Republic Act 9502 or the Generics Law, principally authored by the late Iloilo fourth district congressman Narciso Monfort in 1998, gave the right of choice for people to buy their medicines.
Tarrosa said the generic medicines have not been given honor in the fight against costly, expensive and abusively-priced medicines. However, competition posed by the generics has forced prices of some high-priced medicines to go down to more affordable level.
Generic medicines have the same quality or even superior to the branded ones. However, Ilonggos still doubt the medicine quality as poorer compared to the branded ones.
Tarrosa said there is a need to advocate more doctors to prescribe generic medicines so that more people will use the generics as this will offer competition to bring down medicine prices.
Under the law, all government health agencies shall use generic terminology or generic names in all transactions related to purchasing, prescribing, dispensing, reimbursing and administering of drugs and medicines.
Similarly, all private medical, dental and veterinary practitioners shall prescribe in generic name, the brand name may be included if so desired.
For violation of the Act, the DOH Secretary has the authority to impose administrative sanctions such as suspension or cancellation of license to operate or recommend suspension of license to practice profession at the Professional Regulation Commission.