Generic drugs are “photocopies” of the original drugs that have exactly similar dosages, effects, intended use, side effects, risks route of administration, strength and safety, as the original drug
The question about Original and generic drugs in Kenya is not much about the cost when it comes to prioritizing life and death; but when the more relevant and more useful drug comes at half the price of curing when compared to some branded/original drugs. What Kenyan generic drugs have done is to open up a whole new world in the field of treating patients in this third world developing country at a lower cost.
Now here is the answer for those pondering on what exactly a generic drug is. First and foremost, a generic drug is not a fake drug. Any medicine or drug manufactured, marketed and sold by any other company other than the actual patent holder falls under the category of generic drugs. There is only one original drug, while any other similar drug is called a generic.
Why are generic drugs in Kenya very cheap then?
It simply put as this, taking a photocopy as an example. The very first manuscript takes time to type, edit print. It can take days of every weeks before a writing is completed. The exercise is expensive and time consuming. But once the writing and editing and printing has been done. It will take you not more than a minute to get the exact copy of what has been written. It is also cheaper. Photocopying of the original writing is what many pharmaceutical companies do.
Companies like Pfizer, GSK and Sanofi have the capacities of developing new drugs through their extensive drug development institutes. Others without such capabilities opt to “photocopy” what has already been developed and make their own copies of the original drug. These are what we call generic drugs.
- Azithromycin antibiotic: Original Zithromax by Pfizer
Available generics: Azi-bio, Zithrocare, Azomac, Azithral, Zimycin
- Amoxicillin antibiotic: Original Amoxil by GSK
Available generics: Amoxi-denk, Elymox, Kamox, Neomox, Penamox, Promox, Rivamox
- Paracetamol painkiller: Original Panadol by GSK
Available generics: Cetamol, Calpol, Curamol, Adol, Biomol
- Metronidazole antibiotic antiprotozoa: Original Flagyl by Sanofi
Available generics: Elogyl, Metrogyl, Tricozole, Eflaron,
- Cotrimoxazole antibiotic: Original Septrin by Aspen GSK
Available generics: Otrim, Cosatrim, Biotrim, Cotreich, Lecotrim, Sulfran, Unitrim
- Cetirizine antihistamine: Original Zyrtec by GSK
Available generics: Zyncet, Cezine, Rhizin, Codimex CT, Cetrizet, Cachcet, Histacet, Piricet, Osscet,
Dealing with side effects
Time of the treatment doesn’t vary when comparing branded drugs vs their generics; because the active ingredients in the generic medicines are the same as those in the branded version. Now if your fear is more on the potential side effects of the generics drugs in Kenya, they are the same and any side effects anticipated with the original drug, will be anticipated with the generic version.
Nonetheless, some generic versions have poor qualities as compared to the original drugs. This could be because they have poorly equipped industries, which do not match the machines in the original manufacturer. There is also no doubt that some excipients used by some generic drug manufacturers are not up to standard hence might lead to potential side effects.
Even so, this isn’t a problem that has been witnessed in Kenya yet, as any pharmaceutical company intending on manufacturing a generic drug undergoes inspection by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board to ensure it meets the minimum standards of drug manufacturing. Also, the board samples the drugs for analysis before giving the company a go ahead to sell it to clients. Any company that fails this test isn’t licensed to manufacture the generic drug.
So, with the same outcome for both, but at a lower cost with the generic drugs, senses should drive you to the corner and instruct you to buy generic drugs. Then again, the best possible way to access all these generics would be by getting the generic drugs online in Kenya. The only cause of concern to a person dreadfully looking forward for a cheaper generic medication is that not all of the branded medicines have a generic equal; and more is the distress when patents protect the branded drugs from being copied, until the patent time expires.
You shan’t be the pawn on the chess board
So here is the opportunity to grab to save your soul and your hard-earned cash. On the other hand, if you feel that your insurance cover could protect you from the rate of the original drug, then use it. The other better option is to buy generic drugs online in Kenya as in the long run ePharmacy Kenya guarantees availability of these drugs, their accessibility and delivery can be done anywhere and their affordability too as they are cheaper. So, next time you get your prescription always discuss the possibility of getting cheaper generics with your doctor instead of the over-priced originals.
The above text meant for public knowledge only and should never be used to determine the next cause of treatment