PGI study: Generic drugs not too effective in chronic cases

CHANDIGARH: At a time when the Government of India has made it mandatory to prescribe generic drugs only in the central government hospitals, a new study in PGI has found that some generic drugs are not too effective and there is less likelihood of patients responding to treatment. The study, published recently in an international journal, was carried out on patients with a chronic lung disease in PGI.

Conducted by Dr Ritesh Agarwal, I S Sehgal, S Dhooria et al and published in Mycoses journal, the study saw the effect of itraconazole capsules, which is the initial therapy for chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) — a progressive lung disease caused by aspergillus species and most commonly affects those with post-tuberculosis lung disease. The researchers included 94 generic brands and 99 innovator (patented drugs) itraconazole drug on the patients. Out of 193 patients, 48.7% were given generic drugs and 51.3% the innovator. However, after two weeks, improvement was seen in 73% who were on innovator drugs and only 29% of those on generic drugs responded to the treatment.

“We have seen in our patients that some drugs do not work well even after an increase in dosage. Over years, we have the experience of understanding which product works well in chronic cases. What matters therefore is not generic or branded, but quality monitoring of drugs,” said an oncologist in PGI.

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