Go Generic And Slash Your Medical Bills by 50%..

Generic Medicine

 

Hectic fast-paced lifestyles coupled with stress and other factors have led to an increasing number of chronic diseases and ailments; Every second person is on medication for one malaise or the other..

No wonder that, the pharmaceutical industry remains unaffected by inflation, demonetisation or even the most recent rollout of GST! Business thrives and the upward trajectory remains..

Interestingly not many of us know that these expensive pills can be replaced by the generic medicines/drugs available at Generic Medicine Stores across the city..

We decided to find out how this all works and went in search of stores and practitioners of medicine..

As we had imagines, the generic alternatives are not only significantly cheaper ( See Comparative  Chart featured ) but have the same base formula/generic drug, available in similar combinations, dosages and equally effective. The only difference being the fact they are lesser known brands that aren’t supported by big budget pharma companies.

Dr Balwant Ghatpandey
Dr Balwant Ghatpandey

In fact, as we figured, most medical professionals prescribe one brand or the other and rarely suggest generic options. One exception we met ( among very few others ) was the centenarian Dr Balwant Pandarinath Ghatpandey.

A 102-year-old practicing Doctor in Pune, Dr Ghatpandey has been treating his patients for 70 years and has continued to help patients with his traditional knowledge of allopathic medicines even though the medical field has undergone sea change.

“It has been 70 years since I started practicing allopathy. There are some medicines that I prepare in-house and for the others that I cannot, I get them from the market,” says Dr Ghatpandey.

“I do not prescribe the expensive branded medicines to my patients. The medicines that I provide are of the same formula of the branded medicines available at the pharmacies and are equally effective. They are very affordable, hence the patients revisit me frequently,” he adds.

On March 15, 2017, Dr Ghatpandey became one of the oldest practising doctors in Pune. Interestingly he charges only Rs 30 per visit from patients and donates most of his income to charity.

A regular patient visiting his clinic says, “I have been visiting Dr Ghatpandey for the past 14 years. My family also visits him in case of any illness. We trust him completely. The medicines that he gives are dispensed by him and are cheaper than those available at the local pharmacy. They work equally well for us. But we can’t find them at any medical store so we revisit him after we have completed our prescribed dose of medicines,” he adds.

Speaking about the Generic Medicine Store segment across the city, Ashish Mohita, owner of Winspire Generic Medicine Store says, “We have alternatives for all medicines available. The medicines and drugs we sell are of different brands but of the same formula and are much cheaper. Almost half the price from the regular shops. They are equivalent to a brand-name product in dosage, strength, quality and performance.

“Still people do not prefer buying those cheap medicines as they think that whatever brand their doctor prescribes is best, even if it costs much more. Many pharmaceutical  brands convince doctors to prescribe their branded products thereby increasing their sales,” he adds.

We decided to compare rates and went about checking bother regular and generic pharmacies only to find a huge variance.

Here is a snapshot of the major difference in prices of some commonly used medication for ailments like Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Hyperacidity etc.

Generic-Medicine-Price-chart
Comparision Price Chart for Regular Pharmacy Brands and Generic Pharmacy Brands

The list is endless and a complete eye-opener for a lot of us to the world of pharmaceuticals.

Chronic patients and patients with lifestyle ailments spend anything between 1500-3000 per month on their monthly quota of medicines. A visit to the generic store will slash their monthly expense by over 50% in most cases..

Maybe, it is time, that legislation is implemented to ensure medical professionals only prescribe the generic names and leave the brand selection to the patient.

We will do our bit, you can too !

 

#Views expressed in this column are the individual respondents. All prices mentioned are indicative and based on information provided to us. 

Loveleen Kaur

Loveleen Kaur

She loves travelling, dogs, sarcasm, humour and anything that spells F O O D, in that order. A writer on a journey to make positive stories a morning ritual and give society what it needs the most - optimism !!

Reach her at loveleen@pune365.com or tweet @KaurKaur18
Loveleen Kaur

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