Vol.19 No.0530 Thursday Edition, May 30, 2019 Fourth news page
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The goal of the decree is that patients have the right to decide if they want to buy original or generic medicines.
/ A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo.

Doctors must include generic medicines
in their prescriptions

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

By means of a decree submitted by the Ministry of Health, doctors must include the generic name of the medicine, known as the International Common Denomination, in their medical prescriptions.

The goal of the decree is that patients have the right to decide if they want to buy original or generic medicines.

A generic drug is a drug that contains the same chemical substance as a drug that was originally protected by patents. Generic drugs are allowed for sale after the patents on the original drugs expire. Because the active chemical substance is the same, the medical profile of generics is believed to be equivalent in performance.

Generic drugs are cheaper since they do not require amortizing research costs.

"As the World Health Organization maintains, actions such as these contribute to improving access to health for the population," the ministry said in its statement. "The citizen has the right to know the full range of medicines that it has available, from the cheapest to the most expensive, in order to decide the one that best suits your conditions."

Any medical prescription that does not comply with the established rules cannot be issued. In addition, there are sanctions for pharmaceutical establishments or doctor's offices that do not comply with this instruction.

The fine for breaking the decree is from calls for attention to closures of the pharmacy.

All drugs that are available in pharmacies go through strict controls of the Ministry of Health, either generic or brand, which has been proven effective. So the quality or effectiveness between an original medication and a generic one are almost equal.

According to the Ministry, doctors, pharmacists, and patients can express their opinion on this decree, which is open to modifications until May 31. All opinions and comments will be taken into account for the drafting of the final decree.

Do you prefer to buy original or generic medications?
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