Management of Drugs at Health Centre Level - Training Manual
(2004; 84 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentForeword
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentObjectives
View the document1. Introduction
Open this folder and view contents2. Management of drugs
Close this folder3. Selection of drugs
View the document3.1 Criteria for selection of drugs
View the document3.2 Basis for drug selection
View the document3.3 Generic names
Open this folder and view contents4. Drug procurement
Open this folder and view contents5. Drug distribution
Open this folder and view contents6. Use of drugs
Open this folder and view contents7. Drug stock management support tools
View the document8. Definitions
View the document9. References
Open this folder and view contents10. Annexes
View the documentBack cover
 

3.3 Generic names

The drugs on the essential drugs list are referred to by their INN or generic names. The generic name is used in writing prescriptions as well as in purchasing drugs. The use of the generic name for these purposes has certain advantages:

• There is easy recognition of the type of drug, especially where many selected drugs exist in that class (e.g. all benzodiazepines have INNs ending with “-zepam”);

• Drugs can be purchased from multiple sources, thus giving the advantage of buying at a competitive price;

• Product substitution is easy where bio-availability presents a clinical problem;

• The confusion associated with the use of brand names can be avoided.


Some people argue (without evidence) that generic drugs may be of poor quality. The quality of drugs and dosage forms available in a country is dependent on the regulatory measures implemented by the responsible authority. It is important to realize that quality control and naming of drugs are separate issues. Indeed, some manufacturers sell their brand-name products under a generic name at a lower price.

Examples of generic and brand names

Generic (INN)

Brand Names

Acetyl salicylic acid

Asprin®, Aspro®

Albendazole

Zentel®

Ampicillin

Penbritin®

Benzl benzoate

Ascabiol®

Benzylpenicillin

Megacillin®, Specillin®

Cimetidine

Tagamet®

Clotrimazole

Canesten®

Cloxacillin

Orbenin®

Cotrimoxazole (sulphametoxazole + trimethoprim)

Bactrim®, Septrim®

Dexamethasone

Dectancyl®, Dexone®

Diazepam

Valium®

Doxycycline

Doxigram®, Monocline®

Griseofulvin

Fulcine®

Ibuprofen

Brufen®

Promethazine

Phenergan®

Penytoin

Di-Hydan®, Dilantin®

Phenobarbital

Gardenal®

Propranolol

Inderal®Paracetamol

Panadol®Salbutamol

Ventolin®

Sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine

Fansidar®

 

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The WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products Information Portal was designed and is maintained by Human Info NGO. Last updated: October 29, 2018