Are Generic Drugs Less Effective?

Generic drugs

Who regulates the distribution of medication in Kenya?

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board is the body mandated by law under the Pharmacy and Poisons Act (cap 244) to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and well-being of members of the public by upholding standards and public trust in pharmacy.

The board regulates the practice of pharmacy and the manufacture and trade in drugs and poisons. The body therefore sets the standards of conduct by monitoring closely pharmacy professionals and premises ensuring locally manufactured, imported, exported, distributed, sold or used medical products are safe.

Every registered pharmacy has a special code which is meant to be displayed publicly for everyone to see. Any fake or substandard drug can be reported and action taken according to law by the board.

What is a fake drug?

A fake drug is that which is sold or advertised with similar display as the original form of the drug. This means the fake drug may look exactly like the original or have information that may confuse the consumer if not careful. The pharmacist or user through experience can establish the difference although for a new person this can be difficult. The fake drug may be produced at lower costs and sold at the same price as the original brand.

Why do people refer to certain drugs as original?

An “original” or brand name drug product is usually the first to be developed by a pharmaceutical company. This is usually a multinational brand available in most countries worldwide. The original drug is usually more expensive than generic.

The manufacturing company of a brand name drug spends a lot of time and money to determine clinical safety and efficacy and this justifies why the initial price for a new drug is extremely high regardless of the cost of manufacturing being low.

The high cost covers up for the huge expenses needed to get Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval which requires a lot of time, study and research too. Furthermore some drugs may fail to make it out of research labs or may need modifications before the entire process is complete.

Developing a new prescription medicine that gains marketing approval may cost roughly $2.6 billion according to a recent study by Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development and published in the Journal of Health Economics.

 This makes production of a generic drug be as simple as buying raw materials and getting to work. When the drug goes off patent, that is, after 20 years of them charging high prices – other pharmaceutical companies are allowed to begin making generics. The price off the brand drug may reduce.

Is a generic drug fake?

A generic drug is a pharmaceutical drug that is equivalent to a brand-name or original drug in dosage, strength, route of administration, quality, performance and intended use with same active ingredient as original.

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