The existing guidelines do not allow any change, with the pharmacist bound to dispense the same product as specified in the prescription. This is in line with the government’s plan to bring healthcare costs down, with the PM having earlier announced that laws will be enacted to ensure doctors prescribe medicines with their generic names, instead of brands. While this has not taken off in totality due to complexities in implementation, the government has been successful in capping prices of cardiac stents and orthopaedic implants earlier. The proposal, once finalised, will provide an option to a patient to pick up a Generic Drug or even a brand manufactured by a domestic firm, which are usually cheaper than the prescribed one (for example by an MNC), sources told TOI.
According to Section 65 (11) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, “no person dispensing a prescription containing substances specified in Schedule H or X may supply any other preparation, if containing the same substances or not, in lieu thereof”. “Discussions are on at present, the government will invite comments from stakeholders before amending the laws,” a health ministry official said.
Source : timesofindia