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Generic vs branded medicines in India: A quick differentiation

According to a recent report, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is the 14th largest exporter contributing to 3.5% of total global medicine export. Another report suggests that India is also one of the top manufacturers of generic medicines with a 20% share worldwide.

With factors like affordability and easy availability, generic medicines are preferred by the masses. At the same time, some may opt for branded drugs due to their reputation for quality and effectiveness. Before proceeding to choose, one must, however, hold a proper understanding of the two types of medications as well as their differences, and select accordingly.

What is a generic medicine?

Generic medicine may refer to drugs that aren’t produced under a brand name or sold by a manufacturing company. They are usually created with a similar dosage, formula, and quality like the marketed branded medicine.

Moreover, these medicines have no patent owner that regulates their promotions through selected pharmaceutical agencies. Companies producing them, therefore, needn’t spend millions in researching and perfecting the formula, making them cheaper and easily accessible to patients.

What is a branded medicine?

Medicines sold under a brand name or a company fall under the branded genre of prescription drugs. These medications are a result of initiatives when a pharmaceutical company acquires a patent to manufacture and sell a drug for a set period. Also, due to the time, money, and research involved in producing the right dosage of drugs, these medicines are expensive.

Lack of generic medicines in India is also a concern for many as most pharmacies stock only the branded products. This situation forces individuals to depend on high-end brands during an emergency.

In such cases, you can either bear the cost of medication from your pocket or use financing tools like the Bajaj Finserv Digital Health EMI Network Card to fund the purchase of these medicines. It is a smart way of delaying financial liability from the patient’s side.

The difference between generic and branded medicine

It is essential to note that many medicines are available in two forms, generic and branded. However, although they carry a similar composition and reaction to specific health issues, few factors can differentiate them. Some of them are mentioned below.

  1. Size, shape and colour: Generic medicines and branded drugs usually share the same chemical formula, but characteristics like flavour, colour, and size may vary accordingly. Moreover, their performance and effectiveness against health issues can be different. What makes branded medicines different from the generic ones is their name, which is a form of promotion used by companies.
  2. Inactive ingredients: Drugs are created with both active and inactive ingredients. The active ingredients express therapeutically, the biochemical and medicinal reaction on patients while the inactive ingredients are the non-medicinal components used to make the pill look and taste good. Based on the sensitivity to specific passive components, the medicines may vary accordingly.
  3. Price: According to the FDA, generic medicines can be 85% cheaper than branded drugs. Due to the years of research and millions spent on the formulation of medicine by brands, the cost of selling is pretty high. At the same time, generic drugs are affordable as they are manufactured as per a readymade formula and involve a limited cost of production.
  4. Versions: Generic drugs may vary according to the manufacturer’s leading to a variation in medicines based on the seller.

While selecting a generic or branded drug is up to you, healthcare assistance also involves high expenditure in terms of diagnosis, treatments, post-hospitalization consultations, etc. It is thus wise to remain prepared financially to pay for such requirements as and when needed. Financial tools like the Bajaj Finserv Digital Health EMI Network Card can suitably resolve the issues regarding expenses and help a patient pay for a top-notch medical facility.

Benefits of acquiring a health card

The health EMI network card allows users to convert their medical and pharmaceutical bills into monthly installments. Thereby, cardholders can reduce the burden of immediate payment by repaying it monthly.

The health EMI network card allows patients to receive treatment from renowned partner facilities for over 800+ health issues, many of which are often not covered under a health insurance policy.

Some of the added benefits of health card are:

  • These health cards can be used in over 5,500 of the NBFC’s partner facilities, spread across more than 1,000 cities in the country.
  • The pre-approved limit is up to Rs.4 lakh to help meet the medical costs with ease.
  • The card offers complimentary personal accidental insurance of Rs.1 lakh for one year.
  • The health card status is instantly activated upon application and approval, allowing users to meet emergency needs without any hassle.
  • The insta-card can be availed against a one-time fee of Rs.707 and benefit the cardholders’ family members, including their parents, children, spouse, and siblings.
  • Apart from standard treatment and doctor’s fee payment, the health card can be used for homeopathy, telemedicine, cosmetic surgery, IVF, bariatric surgery, etc. It also allows an individual to purchase medications, be it branded or generic medicines, from selected outlets.
  • Existing customers can apply for the health card without submitting any additional documents through the NBFC’s official website.

Therefore, rather than getting confused over the difference between generic and branded medicines, individuals must focus on availing better treatment. Health cards can turn out to be beneficial in this process as they help individuals acquire the best treatment without stressing over the finances involved.

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