Jan Aushadhi Stores in India and Quality of Medicines Therein
(2011; 4 pages)

Generic medicines are an affordable alternative to the costlier, patented, branded medicines. However, vast majority of Indian population still has to spend "out of pocket" on costlier, branded medicines. Various surveys in India have highlighted the problem of availability and supply of cheaper generics in Indian market. Recently, Government of India has initiated the scheme of "Jan Aushadhi Stores", planned in each district in the country, to provide for cheaper generic medicines. However, several surveys have focused on poor quality image of generics, both in the mindsets of prescribers, as well as patients. This study is one of the first such studies, which compares the quality of four commonly used drugs: Alprazolam, Cetrizine, Ciprofloxacin, Fluoxitine, available as generics from "Jan Aushadhi Stores", with that of the respective leading brands, viz., Restyl, Alerid, Ciprobid and Fludac, from the market. These medicines were tested as per the Indian pharmacopoeial guidelines. Results indicate all the four pairs of generics vs. popular branded medicines pass the relevant pharmacopoeial tests, thereby underlining that generics are of as good quality as branded medicines. The study highlights the importance of spreading awareness on quality of generics, amongst the prescribers and the public as well.

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