Why Doctors are Wary of using Generic Drugs in India?

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What is the difference between Generic and Branded medicine?

Generic medicines and brand-name medicines share the same active ingredient, but other characteristics, such as colours and flavourings, that do not affect the performance, safety, or effectiveness of the generic medicine, may be different.

So, if there is not any major difference between Generic and Branded medicines then why Doctors in India are reluctant to prescribe Generic medicines?

Although, like many of us, I am not the perfect person to elaborate more on the topic, still I am trying my level best to explain the issue.

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Why government want to increase the prescription of generic drugs?

Now, Let us discuss the government’s point of view to implement the law. They have one main purpose making Healthcare more affordable to the patients.


The promotion of generic drugs has been a topic of considerable debate within the Indian healthcare ecosystem. While generic drugs have the potential to make medications more affordable and accessible, there is a significant faction of doctors who are sceptical about their usage. This blog aims to delve into the reasons behind the opposition of doctors to the usage of generic drugs in India, shedding light on the complexities and concerns that shape their viewpoint.


  1. Quality Concerns:

One of the primary reasons for doctors’ opposition to generic drugs is the concern over their quality and consistency. Doctors fear that generic drugs may not be as efficacious as their branded counterparts due to potential variations in manufacturing standards, inactive ingredients, and bioavailability. The lack of information about the quality assurance processes for generic drugs contributes to this apprehension.

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  1. Lack of Information and Education:

Doctors often find themselves uninformed about the bioequivalence of generic drugs and their approval processes. The absence of comprehensive educational initiatives on generic drugs can lead to misunderstandings and skepticism among healthcare professionals, hindering their willingness to prescribe them.


  1. Personal and Professional Reputation:

Doctors often establish their reputations based on the effectiveness of treatments they prescribe. Concerns about the effectiveness of generic drugs can impact their reputation, leading them to opt for more familiar and established branded drugs to ensure patient trust.


  1. Fear of Adverse Events:

Physicians worry that switching patients from branded to generic drugs might lead to adverse effects or reduced treatment efficacy. These concerns stem from a lack of comprehensive data on patient outcomes during such transitions.


  1. Regulatory Uncertainties:

Doctors may lack confidence in the regulatory framework overseeing generic drugs, especially when counterfeit or substandard medications are discovered in the market. The absence of transparent and stringent regulations can fuel scepticism among healthcare professionals.


  1. Lack of Research and Evidence:

The scarcity of large-scale, long-term studies comparing the clinical outcomes of patients on generic versus branded drugs contributes to the reluctance among doctors to embrace generic prescriptions.


  1. Pharmaceutical Industry Influence:

The pharmaceutical industry’s marketing practices can influence doctors’ prescribing habits. Branded drug manufacturers invest heavily in promotional activities, which can sway doctors towards prescribing familiar brands over generic alternatives. That may be the option in one or many cases but not 100 per cent rather government has many other laws to curb this practice. Further, as much as I know the healthcare industry, it best works for the benefit of the patients and all other things go after that.


  1. Patient Resistance and Expectations:

Some patients may have strong preferences for branded medications due to perceptions of higher quality. Doctors, eager to meet patient expectations, might be hesitant to prescribe generic drugs if it conflicts with patient preferences.


  1. Incomplete Drug Information:

Doctors rely heavily on accurate and comprehensive drug information to make prescribing decisions. Generic drugs might lack detailed information in comparison to well-established brand-name drugs, which can contribute to doctors’ apprehension.


  1. Ethical Dilemmas:

Doctors grapple with ethical dilemmas when considering the affordability of treatments versus the potential risks associated with generic drugs. Balancing patient well-being and financial constraints adds complexity to the decision-making process.

pexels photo 4069882 - Why Doctors are Wary of using Generic Drugs in India?
Photo by Juan C. Palacios on Pexels.com


The opposition of doctors to the usage of generic drugs in India is multifaceted and emerges from a variety of concerns, ranging from quality and information gaps to professional reputation and regulatory uncertainties. As the healthcare ecosystem evolves and regulatory bodies work towards building a stronger framework for generic drugs, addressing doctors’ concerns is crucial. Collaboration between healthcare organizations, regulatory authorities, pharmaceutical companies, and medical professionals can facilitate an environment where doctors feel confident in prescribing generic drugs, thus contributing to a more affordable and accessible healthcare landscape. Comprehensive education, transparent regulations, and robust research efforts are pivotal in bridging the divide and aligning doctors with the goal of making quality healthcare accessible to all segments of society.

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