Manisha Das1, Supriyo Choudhury1, Somnath Maity1, Avijit Hazra2, Tirthankar Pradhan3, Aishee Pal3, Ranendra Kumar Roy1
1Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3Undergraduate Student, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Background: The concept of generic prescription is widely accepted in various parts of the world. Nevertheless, it has failed to gain popularity in India due to factors such as nonavailability and distrust on the product quality. However, since 2012, the Government of West Bengal, India, has initiated exclusive generic drug outlets called “fair price medicine shop” (FPMS) inside the government hospital premises in a “public-private-partnership” model. This study was undertaken to evaluate the experience and attitude of patients who were consuming generic drugs purchased from these FPMS Materials and Methods: It was a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study where we have interviewed 100 patients each consuming generic and branded drugs, respectively. The perceived effectiveness, reported safety, medication adherence, cost of therapy, and availability of drugs was compared between two mentioned groups. Medication adherence was estimated through Drug Attitude Inventory-10. Results: 93% of generic and 87% branded drug users believed that their drugs were effective (P = 0.238) in controlling their ailments. No significant difference (9% generic, 10% branded drug users, P = 1.000) was observed in reported adverse effects between generic and branded drug users. 82% and 77% of patients were adherent generic and branded drugs, respectively (P = 0.289). As expected, a significantly lower cost of generic drugs was observed compared to its branded counterpart. Conclusion: The policy of FPMS implemented by the Government of West Bengal, India appeared to be promising in terms of perceived effectiveness, safety, and adherence of generic drugs from FPMS compared to drugs purchased from open market retailers. Therefore, this study might act as an impetus for the policy-makers to initiate similar models across the country.
Keywords: Branded drug, cost of therapy, generic prescription, health policy, medication adherence.