Friday, October 14, 2005

On Generic Medicine

Professor Michael Tan has written an article (Philippine Daily Inquirier) on the desirability of using generic medicines here in the Philippines. He writes:

"Ultimately though, it's still an informed consumer that will make the difference. In one Save-More drug outlet, while waiting for my prescription to be filled, a man came in and rattled off three different drugs by their generic names. He was empathic in adding, after he had finished naming the medicines: "Generics lang." Sadly, the sales clerks said they didn't have generic versions for the two of the medicines he needed.

Nevertheless, I was impressed that the man was aware of generics. Maybe he was a health professional, but I suspect he was simply an informed consumer. And we need more of such consumers to spur the demand for generics.

The Department of Health needs to revive the campaign around generics, and for starters, we could get prescribers, sales clerks and consumers to stop saying "generics lang [generics only]" and be more assertive: "Generics ang gusto ko [I want generics]."

Sadly, I am one of those who should know better but does not do better. Given a prescription, I buy the prescribed, brand product. I just figure it will be easier, I do not have to explain to the drugstore clerk nor to my doctor why I opted for a different brand name.

Also I still buy "biogesic" a, home grown brand of paracetamol. It was the brand my grandmother and mother used to give me when I had fever as a kid and I just feel comforted using it. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For sure Vicoden, Atrovent, and Neurontin don't work for me in the generic. I don't know others. Doctors say it is in the bonding agent.