Recent policies, coupled with the removal of fuel subsidies and the fluctuating forex market, have ushered in an era of hyperinflation. One major consequence? A whopping 150% spike in medication costs. But here’s the silver lining: Nigeria boasts an array of competent local pharmaceutical manufacturers like Fidson, Emzor, Swiss Pharma, Drugfield, Vita Biotics, Evans, and Chi Pharmaceuticals. They produce not just any medicines, but quality generic medications
Branded vs. Generic: Unravelling the Puzzle
For the uninitiated, here’s a brief breakdown:
- Branded/Innovator Medications: Originally developed by pharmaceutical companies, they come with patent rights. Being first-of-their-kind, they’re marketed under exclusive brand names, often at a higher cost.
- Generic Medications: Essentially bioequivalent to branded medications but are produced without the patent costs. They’re rigorously tested and approved, ensuring the same efficacy, safety, and therapeutic benefits but at a fraction of the price.
Some Key Facts
- Generic medicines have the same active ingredient as brand-name medicines and work in the same way, but may look different and contain different non-active ingredients.
- Generic alternatives are often cheaper than brand-name medicines. This is because the company that produces the medicine did not need to invest money in developing and marketing it.
- Generic medicines may be different from the brand-name version in shape, size, colour, packaging, and ‘inactive ingredients’ that do not contribute to the treatment effect of the medicine.
Why Choose Generic?
- Value for Money: You receive the same therapeutic benefit as branded drugs but at a considerably reduced cost.
- Quality Assurance: Local manufacturers like Emzor and Swiss Pharma have rigorous standards in place. These generics undergo stringent quality checks through regulatory agencies like NAFDAC, to ensure they’re up to par with their branded counterparts
- Supporting the Local Economy: Opting for generics isn’t just a wise health choice but a patriotic one. By doing so, you bolster local industries, creating jobs and enriching our economy.
Do Generic Medicines Work?
Yes, generic (unbranded) drugs work as well as their branded counterparts, and sometimes even better. The differences in the pharmaceutical makeup of branded and unbranded (generic) drugs are usually insignificant. The power of advertising can never be underestimated. The marketing schemes of pharmaceutical brands over time have led to the perception that branded drugs work better than their generic counterparts.
So, when your doctor prescribes Paracetamol instead of Panadol, or Amlodipine instead of Norvasc; don’t think he/she is giving you a less effective version. They will all arrive at the same destination—to make you feel better.
Branded Medications: The Real Cost
Here’s a perspective. The soaring prices of branded medications don’t just dig deeper into your pockets, but strain our collective resources. As an insurer, our goal is to optimize the allocation of funds, ensuring as many members as possible have access to crucial healthcare services. When funds are expended on high-cost branded meds, it curtails our ability to broaden our reach.
By choosing generics, you play an active role in:
- Stretching Your Naira: Get more value for your money.
- Safeguarding Your Health: Rest assured, you’re not compromising on quality.
- Empowering Nigeria: Fuel our nation’s growth by endorsing local manufacturers.
Our pledge to you is to continue demystifying healthcare intricacies, ensuring you’re well-informed and poised to make the best decisions for your health and wallet. We’re on this journey together, and together, we shall weather any storm.
Thank you for your trust in us. To a healthier, stronger Nigeria!
Stay well and informed,
Your Dedicated Leadway Healthwise Team