The Rajasthan government has once again directed doctors in government-run medical hospitals to prescribe medicines by their generic names.
An official letter has been issued directing doctors in all government medical colleges, hospitals, primary health centres, community health centres and dispensaries to prescribe only the generic names of medicines and not the branded ones.
"In spite of our constant reminders, doctors are not prescribing generic medicines, so now we have written a formal letter and have communicated to them that failure to do so would attract stern action," Rajasthan's Medical and Health Minister Digambar Singh said.
Similar directives have been issued several times in the past, but so far they have failed to dissuade doctors from prescribing branded medicines.
The salts used in generic and branded medicines are the same and are used in the same manner and proportions, but owing to marketing, packing and branding expenses, the branded medicines are generally costlier.
Treatment of various ailments could become 40-50 percent cheaper with the use of generic medicines, an official at the medical and health department said.
Special committees are also being constituted in all hospitals linked to state-run medical colleges to monitor whether the doctors are prescribing generic medicines or branded ones.