Objective: To compare and evaluate the price and quality of “branded” and
branded-generic equivalents of some commonly used medicines manufactured by the same pharmaceutical company in India.
Materials and Methods: Five commonly used medicines: alprazolam, cetirizine, ciprofloxacin, fluoxetine, and lansoprazole manufactured in branded and
branded-generic versions by the same company were selected. Price-to-patient and
price-to-retailers were found for five “pair” of medicines. Both quantitative and qualitative
analysis were performed following the methods prescribed in the Indian Pharmacopoeia 2007 on
five “pair” of medicines. The tests performed were identification test, chemical
composition estimation test, uniformity of contents test, uniformity of weight, and
dissolution studies. Main Outcome Measures: Price-to-patient, retailer mark-up and qualitative
analysis of branded and branded-generic medicines.
Results: Retailer margin for five branded medicines were in the range of
25-30% but for their branded-generics version manufactured by the same company it was in the
range of 201-1016%. Price-to-patient for the branded version of cetirizine, fluoxetine,
ciprofloxacin, lansoprazole, and alprozolam was higher by 41%, 33%, 0%, 14%, and 31% than
branded-generic. Both versions of five medicines were within their permissible range for all the quantitative and qualitative parameters as prescribed in Indian Pharmacopoeia. Conclusion: Difference in price-to-patient was not as huge as it is expected for
generics but margins for retailer were very high for branded-generics. Quality of
branded-generics is same as for their branded version. The study highlights the need to modify
the drug price policy, regulate the mark-ups in generic supply chain, conduct and widely
publicize the quality testing of generics for awareness of all stakeholders.