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Are generic drugs as good as branded ones?

Q: There are so many medicines available in Indian market either as generic or branded products. I want to know the difference between these two. Generally doctors are giving generic medicines from their own clinics while consultants are giving branded ones. As per your expert opinion which one should be taken? I have come to know that there is wide margin to the dealer of who is selling generic medicines. Will the quality compromise be permitted by the drug department?

A:Generic medicines are those that are sold under their common chemical name. For example, commonly used fever-lowering and painkiller, paracetamol is a generic name. It becomes a branded product when a manufacturer gives it a trade name. For example Glaxo SmithKline sells paracetamol under the brand name of Crocin. In a country like India which is flooded with substandard and even fake medicines, it is always better to buy branded drugs of reputed manufacturers. For example if one was to buy generic paracetamol, instead of Crocin, one will not know even the name of the manufacturer. Because of cost factor, some dispensing doctors do use generic products. One can only hope that they are scrutinising the quality before giving them to patients.


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