PIL for Generic Drug Prescription: Supreme Court notice to NMC

Justice Court

Last Updated on August 27, 2023 by The Health Master

Generic Drug Prescription

In a significant legal development, the Supreme Court has taken up a public interest litigation (PIL) for Generic Drug Prescription, initiated by an Agra-based lawyer and RTI activist.

The petitioner has sought action and guidelines against medical practitioners and doctors who prescribe branded medicines to patients instead of opting for generic drugs.

This move aims to address the financial strain on patients and enhance their access to essential medications.

Supreme Court’s Attention on Generic Drug Prescription

During the hearing of the PIL, the Supreme Court issued an official notice to both the National Medical Commission (NMC) and state governments.

The petitioner, Kishan Chand Jain, invoked Article 32 of the Constitution to highlight the importance of generic drugs in reducing the financial burden on patients and ensuring better availability of crucial medicines.

National Medical Commission
National Medical Commission

Urgent Need for Implementation

Jain pointed out that although regulations exist promoting the prescription of generic drugs, the lack of an effective enforcement mechanism has hindered their practical implementation.

The petitioner stressed the need for robust methods such as disciplinary proceedings, surprise prescription audits, and regular checks to ensure that medical professionals adhere to the regulations, thus turning theoretical frameworks into actionable practices.

Cost-Effective Nature of Generic Drugs

The PIL emphasized that the cost of medications is a pivotal factor influencing patients’ access to healthcare.

Generic drugs, which contain the same active ingredients as their branded counterparts but lack a specific brand name, are significantly more affordable.

These medications are often priced 50% to 90% lower than their branded equivalents, enabling a wider demographic to afford and benefit from them.

Also read: Difference between branded and generic medicines

Key Relief Sought by the Petitioner

The petitioner has presented a series of measures aimed at addressing the concerns related to generic drug prescription and access:

  1. Stringent Disciplinary Actions: Medical practitioners who fail to prescribe drugs by their generic names should face strict disciplinary actions, as stipulated by the regulations of the Indian Medical Council.
  2. Maximum Retail Price (MRP) Regulation: The petitioner urges the establishment of maximum retail prices for non-scheduled formulations and off-patent generic medicines, ensuring that the costs remain reasonable and accessible.
  3. Surprise Prescription Audits: To ensure compliance with generic drug regulations, the PIL proposes the implementation of surprise audits on prescriptions, reinforcing the adherence to generic drug prescriptions.
  4. Trade Name Prohibition: The use of trade names or brand names for off-patent drugs should be prohibited, promoting the identification of medicines based solely on their generic names.
  5. Mandatory Display of Manufacturer’s Name: The petitioner suggests that only the name of the manufacturing entity should be displayed, ensuring transparency and reducing confusion among patients.

Conclusion: Advancing Healthcare Access through Generic Drug Prescription

The Supreme Court’s attention to the PIL for Generic Drug Prescription highlights the critical role that generic drugs play in making healthcare more accessible and affordable.

By initiating actions against medical practitioners who do not adhere to generic drug prescriptions and implementing pricing regulations, the legal process seeks to create a more equitable healthcare system, benefiting a broader segment of society.

Disclaimer: This article contains information derived from the source mentioned below. Our team utilized an AI language model, to rewrite and present the news / article in a unique format.

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