17 April, 2021

Needed: Pills For People

The PM backs the proposal of making generic drugs mandatory for prescription. But it’s an uphill task.

Life Saver
A generic medicine shop in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan
Photograph by Tribhuvan Tiwari
Needed: Pills For People

Cure And Ailment

  • The PM wants to bring law mandating doctors to prescribe only generic medicines
  • Generic medicines generally cost a fraction of what branded medicines cost
  • Chemists usually do not stock generic medicines as branded medicines give them hefty margins
  • There are no generic medicines for 80 per cent of the branded medicines


Last week, the Prime Minister hit a hornet’s nest by suggesting that he will bring in a law that will mandate doctors and physicians to prescribe only generic medicines instead of brands. The proposal that has the potential to drastically change the pharmaceutical landscape in the country has alerted drug manufacturers, doctors and activists alike. For, if implemented, it can, in one stroke, make medicines cheaper for patients and bring in an ethical medicine regime in the country, while severely hitting margins of drug...

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