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A comparative evaluation of price and quality of some branded versus branded-generic medicines of the same manufacturer in India

Author(s): Singal G | Nanda Arun | Kotwani Anita

Journal: Indian Journal of Pharmacology
ISSN 0253-7613

Volume: 43;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 131;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Branded medicines | branded-generic | generics | mark-ups | medicine price | India | quality testing

Objective : To compare and evaluate the price and quality of "branded" and branded-generic equivalents of some commonly used medicines manufactured by the same pharmaceutical company in India. Materials and Methods : Five commonly used medicines: alprazolam, cetirizine, ciprofloxacin, fluoxetine, and lansoprazole manufactured in branded and branded-generic versions by the same company were selected. Price-to-patient and price-to-retailers were found for five "pair" of medicines. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis were performed following the methods prescribed in the Indian Pharmacopoeia 2007 on five "pair" of medicines. The tests performed were identification test, chemical composition estimation test, uniformity of contents test, uniformity of weight, and dissolution studies. Main Outcome Measures : Price-to-patient, retailer mark-up and qualitative analysis of branded and branded-generic medicines. Results : Retailer margin for five branded medicines were in the range of 25-30% but for their branded-generics version manufactured by the same company it was in the range of 201-1016%. Price-to-patient for the branded version of cetirizine, fluoxetine, ciprofloxacin, lansoprazole, and alprozolam was higher by 41%, 33%, 0%, 14%, and 31% than branded-generic. Both versions of five medicines were within their permissible range for all the quantitative and qualitative parameters as prescribed in Indian Pharmacopoeia. Conclusion : Difference in price-to-patient was not as huge as it is expected for generics but margins for retailer were very high for branded-generics. Quality of branded-generics is same as for their branded version. The study highlights the need to modify the drug price policy, regulate the mark-ups in generic supply chain, conduct and widely publicize the quality testing of generics for awareness of all stakeholders.
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