The Indian Medical Association welcomes the Prime Ministers push for Generic Drugs Urges the government to address the key issue of spurious and substandard drugs, a matter that remains unaddressed New Delhi, 18 April 2017: The Indian Medical Association, the oldest and largest representative organisation of doctors of modern scientific medicine welcomed Prime Minister Narender Modi’s push for generic drugs. IMA strives to work towards making healthcare more affordable and accessible to all and has been demanding dedicated fair price medical shops by the government since years. IMA in committed to helping the government in making low price medicines available to the masses and not only welcomed but also adopted the Jan Aushadhi scheme. IMA headquarters in New Delhi has a fully functional Jan Aushadhi outlet. IMA has also been promoting Jan Aushadhi centres in private hospitals. The IMA leadership opines that no new legislation is required to get doctors to prescribe generic drugs since the MCI code of ethics already details the associated rules and regulations. IMA is however concerned regarding the lack of legislations and initiatives towards curbing the use of spurious and substandard drugs in our country. This is a matter of great concern to the medical fraternity and remains unaddressed. “The Government presently only has around 1800 Drug Inspectors who are responsible for quality control of drugs being sold across the country. This number is grossly inadequate. Indiscriminate dispensing of antibiotics and other prescription drugs by doctors, who are not certified to practice under modern medicine, quacks and by over the counter sales executives has led to the emergence of a new strain of resistant microorganisms. Strict implementation of the existing laws in required in this regard” said Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, National President IMA & HCFI, and Dr RN Tandon, Honorary Secretary General IMA. The Government itself admits that less than 0.01 percent of the drugs produced in the country are tested for quality. “For doctors to prescribe generic drugs, it is crucial that the laws regarding drug testing and quality assurance are strengthened”, added Dr KK Aggarwal. IMA feels that a good way to do this is by bringing the department responsible for generic drug quality control under the Ministry of Health rather than Ministry of Chemical and Petroleum affairs. Quality assurance laboratories should be urgently installed in every state. The loopholes in governance between the Central and State Governments should be cemented. IMA on behalf of 3 lakh practising modern medicine doctors assures our Prime Minister that it will do it’s best in helping facilitate widespread usage of generic drugs. Key Points: 1. IMA is for the promotion of drugs in the National List of essential medicines which, are prize capped and cheaper 2. IMA’s policy for its members is to write NLEM and non NLEM drugs with the patient’s consent 3. IMA is in favour of Jan Aushidhi drugs 4. No one will get Jan Aushidhi drugs if the word Jan Aushidhi is not written on the prescription. Jan Aushidhi, therefore, is also a brand 5. All NLEM drugs should be available through one window pharmacies 6. It should be a crime for a chemist to not keep NLEM drugs 7. CGHS. PSUs and IRDA should mandate reimbursement of only NLEM drugs unless reasoned out 8. IMA is in favour of prescribing the generic name of the drug alone but doctors need to mention the name of the company whose generic the patient is going to buy. The same should also be available freely 9. The answer, therefore, is to write the Generic Name of the drug, choose from the NLEM, write Jan Aushidhi or the name of a standard company 10. Stents have become cheaper because they are now in NLEM. All other devises and disposables should also be brought under NLEM.