18 years ago Brazil welcomed the country’s first generic drug registration. According to the National Agency for Sanitary Vigilance Agency (Anvisa), prescription of generic drugs increased 65% from 2015 to 2018. Between February of last year and February of this year, 34% of the 115 million medical prescriptions issued were generic versions.
The implementation of the policy of generic medicines in Brazil began in 1999 and is considered to have been quite effective, both because it increased the access of the population to drugs, and also from the point of view of the creation of a more robust national pharmaceutical industry.
Before the measure came into force, only one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the country was a national. Currently the number reaches five. The catalogue of generic drugs available in Brazil consists of 6,300 products, manufactured by 120 laboratories. Last year, 70% of all pharmacological units produced in the country were generic. In addition, from 2014 to 2017 the number of new generic drugs grew by 130.1%.
Despite the obvious success and widespread approval by consumers, there is still rejection of generic drugs by many health professionals. The lack of knowledge about scientific evidence and the criterion of validation of generics in medical schools is pointed out as one of the possible reasons for rejection.
Is there still prejudice on the part of healthcare professionals in the prescription of generic drugs? You can find below what the M3 Global Research community answered to this question.
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With my physicians’ guidance, I try to use as many generic drugs as possible — largely because they are cheaper and have lower out of pocket cost for me. I notice no difference in the clinical effects of generic drugs VS drug’s original prescription. The “bite” comes when I am prescribed a drug that has no generic form and have to pay high prices for the drug if I want to reap benefits of that drug. There have been instances when I have chosen to go without a drug VS paying the higher prices. Latest example: Daliresp is said to help diminish the number of lung flareups from COPD; as far as i know, this drug does not have a generic form. I’ve chosen to do without this drug due to its expense, …and, i remain subject to having approximately 6-8 lung flareups each year.
I strongly believe that a number of healthcare professionals do not endorse generic forms of medications due to the large “kickbacks” they receive from prescribing the original format” of the medications.
Though some doctors may only endorse drugs they get financial profits from, I do feel the majority of them will try to prescribe a drug you can afford. If too expensive, they know patient may not even purchase.
I successfully used generic drugs for 20 plus years for multiple prescriptions until 1st quarter 2017 when Caremark changed to distributors who provide generics from pharma companies that produce poorly performing drugs. There are 20 companies that manufacture the generic for Wellbutrin XL. Most are produced in India where drug industry is unregulated. I have switched pharmacies in pursuit of an effective generic, but there is none available. The brand version is more than $4,000 for a 30 day supply. Only the wealthy can afford the drug I took for 25 years, but can no longer afford. The whole drug industry is a tragic failure for the average American consumer of healthcare.