In a research paper published in 2019, it was noted that India is one of the largest suppliers of generic medicines in the international market. India’s pharmaceutical industry fulfils about 40% of the US’ generic drug demand and 25% of that of the UK. This data evidences that the generic drug market in India is quite prolific, with such medicines being easily accessible to the general populace.
Nonetheless, despite their popularity, there remain concerns about safety regarding the usage of generic drugs. Following is a look at what such drugs entail and if they can be used safely instead of brand-name drugs.
What are generic medicines?
The term ‘generic drug’ is usually utilised to denote medications that are copies of brand-name drugs and offer the same effects, dosage, usage, and risks as that of the latter. Generic medicines are less expensive than brand-name ones and thus are often more preferred by those belonging to mid and low-income households.
Since generic drugs are significantly cheaper than brand-name medicines, there are questions pertaining to their effectiveness and safety.
Usually, these drugs are priced at a lower rate than the alternatives because their manufacturers incur limited expenses related to developing and marketing a new drug from scratch. They simply rebrand an existing brand-name medication and save on the expenses that are otherwise incurred by brand-name drug manufacturers.
Are generic drugs safe?
These medications are thoroughly reviewed before they are released into the market, putting the concerns about the quality of generic drugs to rest. They are only sold by pharmacies after they are declared safe for use by respective authorities.
Nonetheless, there have been isolated instances in the past where patients have responded differently to generic medicines as compared to their brand-name alternatives. In a few cases, patients have experienced side-effects from taking these drugs, which have interfered with the intended purpose of the medicine.
Thus, while generic drugs are almost always safe, one can opt for their brand-name alternatives if finances are not a concern.
In this regard, the higher price of brand-name medicines can be a factor that can deter individuals from opting for them. Nonetheless, with financial institutions in India introducing financial products like EMI health cards, individuals can easily choose to purchase brand-name medicines instead of generic ones as per the medication prescribed.
These health cards allow individuals to convert their medical bills into monthly instalments, to be repaid over a tenor ranging between 3 and 12 months. The benefits of this health card can also be availed for expenses incurred while purchasing medicines, making it easier for individuals to afford brand-name drugs, instead of settling for generic ones.
Benefits of a Health EMI Network Card
Apart from making the purchase of expensive medication affordable, health cards like the Bajaj Finserv Digital Health EMI Network Card offer users a plethora of other benefits. These are as follows –
- Applicable for over 800 treatment options
Apart from purchasing medication, the health card helps to convert the bills generated from over 800 treatment procedures into EMIs, boosting their affordability. The list of these treatment options includes procedures like dental care, hair transplant, slimming treatments, etc. which are usually not included under health insurance policies.
- Available in over 5,500 partner facilities across India
These health card benefits are available in over 5,500 of the financial institution’s partner facilities, spread in more than 1,000 cities across the country. It allows cardholders to access quality healthcare anywhere in India without having to worry about hefty bills.
- Benefits extend to family members
Cardholders can not only use the card to convert the bills on their medicines into EMIs but also utilise it for their family members. This is especially beneficial for individuals with elderly parents who require medication daily.
- A high pre-approved limit
Such health cards come with a high pre-approved funding limit of up to Rs.4 lakh that they can utilise to pay for medicines as well as meet several other medical expenses.
- Easy application and instant approval
Existing customers of the NBFC can apply for the health card through the financial institution’s official website. They can also enjoy the advantage of zero documentation and access the card instantly upon approval through the NBFC’s official app. To do so, they need to make a one-time payment of Rs.707. In the case of non-insta cards, the payment required is Rs.589.
Individuals who are not existing customers can purchase such a health card from any of the institution’s partner facilities. They will, however, need to submit a few documents along with the one-time fee to avail the benefits of the card.
Thus, with this health card at disposal, one can purchase either generic medicines or their brand-name alternatives to treat their health conditions without any inconvenience. Nonetheless, one should always consult a physician before taking any medication, generic or otherwise.