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[e-drug] Medical doctors & belief in brand names (10)

E-DRUG: Medical doctors & belief in brand names (10)
Dear colleagues,

This  is  an interesting discussion which goes back a number of years. The  
fact that we discuss it today shows that little has been achieved in changing 
the attitude, behaviour and positions in this respect. One or two things can be 
done to change the 'belief'. For example, education can be used as an avenue to 
address the 'belief': the difference between 'patent product' and a 'generic 
product' needs to be addressed objectively, and the education process can help 
in that. Another approach is health policy. At the end of the day, a doctor is 
not an independent unit who can decide what to provide to a patient (of course 
in the very long past that was the case!). There is national guidance in that 
process. Many countries suffer from a lack of clear policy on pharmaceutical 
products, specifically in the use of brands and  generics (the Netherlands' 
decision is a case in point).

There may be 'National Formulary' committee or similar bodies, but an    
assessment of their guidelines often shows no reference to a national    
position on patents and generics. It is often left to pharmacists in the system 
to advocate one way or the  other. Once that can be addressed  objectively, 
practitioners (prescribers and pharmacists alike) will be  properly guided in 
addressing  and using forms of pharmaceutical products. In Zambia, we are 
following that approach.


   Bonface Fundafunda
   Drug Supply Budget Liine,
   Ministry of Health,

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