Quality main issue in prescribing generic drugs: CII president Shobana Kamineni
New Delhi: Sounding a note of caution on the MCI move asking doctors to prescribe only generic medicines, CII President Shobana Kamineni has said poor quality of drugs could be dangerous for patients.
Kamineni, who is also Executive Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals Enterprises, pitched for making India a major medical tourism destination to "heal the world".
During an interaction with , she also made a strong case for promoting traditional medicines like Ayurveda.
On the contentious issue of doctors being asked to prescribe generic medicines instead patented drugs, Kamineni said the real problem is quality of drugs.
"If the generics are high quality, yes. Quality is the main thing. You cannot inject something that is not good quality... People can take the wrong thing. That's also a danger," said the first woman president of the leading industry chamber.
She said that for pharmacist, who are only diploma holders, it would not be easy to interpret the right mixture of salts and molecules of a generic drugs.
"It's important that a via media is found... If we need to create more access to health care, let us find the way. But let us find the safe way," she added.
Observing the cost of health care is low in India in comparison to developed world, the CII president said the country has an unique opportunity to become hub of medical tourism.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) has advised doctors to prescribe medicines by generic names in place of brand names.
While generics have established bioequivalence with the originators' products, similars have not.
The Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) patients may end up with drugs that "may not be effective at all" if doctors were made to prescribe only generic medicines.
Kamineni, whose group firm Apollo Pharmacy is among the biggest organised chemists in the country, said alopathy doctors are not allowed to prescribe Ayurvedic medicines.
"We have science in Ayurveda. We have science in Yoga and we should celebrate that," she said. NKD RKL CS SA