EVEN BEFORE his statement in Surat on Monday that his government may bring in a law to make it mandatory for doctors to prescribe low-cost generic medicines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had indicated as much to a group of BJP MPs who met him in the last week of March.
At that meeting, responding to a suggestion from his party MP and former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shanta Kumar, Modi had first talked about the government’s plan. Responding to Kumar’s suggestion that the government should bring a law to ensure that doctors have to mandatorily prescribe generic drugs or give reasons if they don’t do so, the Prime Minister had said the government was planning to do so.
“Yes, the Prime Minister spoke about his resolve to end this practice of doctors prescribing costly drugs to poor patients, knowing fully well that generic drugs, which come much cheaper, would have the same results. He even asked us to give suggestions,” Kumar said.
Meanwhile, the highest technical body in drug regulation has already asked the health ministry to make it mandatory for generic products to undergo bio-availability and bio-efficacy tests to ensure quality control.