Brand Names of Drugs to be Replaced by Generic Names

Drugs will be named as per their generic names and not the brand names of the companies that manufacture them. Naming of drugs like Paracetamol and Ciproflaxicin (Ciproflaxin has about 4,000 brand names) will have their generic names instead of brand names.

Generic names have to be given to both single drugs and combination of drugs. Henceforth, physicians are to prescribe drugs by generic names.

The aim of this decision is to decrease the prices of medicines. According to the experts, without revising maximum retail price (MRP), the very object of the change in the rule will not effect. This is because, there is little difference between the MRP of branded and generic drugs.

An important issue is whether the new rule will apply to fresh licenses that are to be issued after the rules come into effect, or to the existing companies producing after issue of the rules.

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) issued circulars to all the controllers of drugs and principal secretaries of health of all states. The rules do not apply for import and export transactions.

Further, licenses are to be issued by DCGI, according to the name of the generic drug. The manufacturer will have the freedom to print the names of the generic drug and the brand. The manufacturer can sell the same generic drug under several names that the authorities may not be aware of.