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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Drug patents: The battle goes on…..

The war between Generics and Brands doesn't seem to die down. In our last discussion, 
we had concluded that the basic difference between these two is the pricing, a marginal difference in the efficacy of both the variants and the safety profile was but obviously assured. Probably that was what we were made to believe.

The latest incident involving 13 female deaths at the Bilaspur sterilization camp has served as an eye opener.
As a knee jerk reaction, the honorable doctor who performed the surgeries at the camp was apprehended and charged with negligence and homicide.

Investigations have now revealed the presence of zinc phosphide, a rodenticide, in Ciprocin 500 (antibiotic), which was prescribed to all the patients during surgery.
This generic drug was manufactured by Mahawar Pharma Pvt Ltd, a Chhattisgarh-based drug firm, a small drug company according to revenue figures disclosed by the company.
This company has a very small unit in Raipur. They have been in the business for over 30 years now but it's a small scale business and supply of medicines was restricted within the state.
Political connections might have helped the company, despite reports that it was blacklisted two years ago over sale of duplicate generic drugs.

This may be a stray incident involving generic drugs but it certainly cannot be passed off without learning a lesson or two.

Firstly, it is important to realize that even the leading pharma companies do manufacture generics. The quality would obviously be ensured with such products.

Secondly, it is always better to avoid medical procedures and treatments in camps. Due to the large numbers, sterility can often be compromised.

And lastly. Dear doctors, if you ever have to participate in a medical camp, please ensure that the medical and paramedic staff are competent enough, drugs are of a standard quality and the setup fulfills the basic needs of a medical centre. Even though you haven't charged for your services, you are still answerable to the consumer forum.

A couple of weeks back I happened to meet a doctor colleague of mine from the US. He had remarked.  " The fundamental difference between the health system in our country and yours is that we value human lives". His words still keep ringing in my ears. 


  1. i totally agree. next time aamir khan fallas ill...or his wife or his son...the doctor should administer him generic drugs.

  2. Very true. There is no value for life especially a poor's life.

  3. The population in India does not allow each citizen to be valued.

  4. The generics are not taken on clinical trails and therefore this excersie reduces the cost
    Make the product risky
    Although there is a Hugh differernce the in the price component

  5. Great article sir. Even greater take on the importance of prescribing original research brands over generics. Amazing learning of valuing human's life over money