Thursday, October 11, 2007

Generic vs Branded Medicines

Yesterday morning, my colleague Bobot and I joined coach Honey, Dencio and Ryan during breakfast. Coach Ryan happens to own a drugstore in their barangay, the topic about generic and branded medicines was opened when I ask about cough and colds medicine that were banned by federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US, this was featured in the news last week. Also, emails pertaining to this issue was circulating in the internet. Included in the list of banned medicine is DIMETAPP which is my daughter's favorite. I find it effective which is why dimetapp is always available in our medicine cabinet. The reason for this action is because of the antihistamine ingredient contained that can cause death.

Generic name is the official medical name for the active ingredient of the medicine whereas brand name is the trade name the manufacturer gives to the medicine. The brand name is chosen by the manufacturer, usually on the basis that it can be recognised, pronounced and remembered by health professionals and members of the public. An example would be Dimetapp which is the brand name and Brompheniramine as the generic name.

I learned from Coach Ryan that Bureau of Food And Drug (BFAD) here in the Philippines is requiring all doctors to write in their prescription both the brand and generic name of the medicines, this way, patients will have options wether to buy the branded or generic medicines whichever they can afford. And the consequence for failing to so do is losing the doctor's medical liscense, at the same time penalty of certain amount. BFAD is proactive in doing surprised and random visits to drugstores to check on the prescriptions if doctors are following the BFAD order. We were thinking doctors prefer to prescribe branded medicines because they are earning extra bucks for promoting them.

I really hope BFAD will continue and consistently doing the check because this is benefecial to majority, especially nowadays when prices of medicines is something to be taken seriously.

By the way, the name inside the box with capital letters in the package of a certain medicine is the generic name and the name underneath is the brand name.

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