What you need to know when buying medicines

When you are in a pharmacy, you are faced with a difficult task: to disassemble the doctor’s handwriting, choose the best option offered by the pharmacist in terms of price and quality, read the instructions and make sure that the medicine is authentic. A couple of minutes for everything. Once the check is broken, the purchased item cannot be returned, even if you change your mind without leaving the pharmacy. Therefore, any doubts must be resolved before payment.

In ancient times, the manufacture of drugs in our country was fully carried out under the state order. The state ensured uniform control over production and determined uniform prices. There was no need to conquer the pharmacy market, all drugs were on an equal footing. The range of medicines was much narrower than it is now, and it was easier to understand it. The newly created medicine received a simple name: based on their chemical formula, less often – in honor of the laboratory or researcher who gave it life.

Now, in the conditions of market competition, on behalf of the drug, at times, its further fate depends. Some pharmaceutical companies have individual employees who come up with sonorous brand names for drugs.

What you need to know when buying medicines

Some manufacturers go for a trick in order to better market them. For example, the usual Nurofen and Nurofen are on sale for children from 6 years old. The price of the latter is one and a half times higher. But the composition, form of release, dose and even instructions for use are the same.

The pharmacy assortment has expanded significantly, and it can be difficult to choose a suitable medicine based on the commercial name alone. By law, all drugs are assigned a second scientific name – this is a grouping or international non-proprietary name (INN), one or the other. Both names are invented based on the composition of the medicine. Dozens of trade names can correspond to one scientific one, the cost of such drugs can differ several times. For example, commercial names correspond to the international name “paracetamol”: “Paracetamol”, “Panadol”, “Efferalgan”, “Tsefekon”, “Calpol”, “Perfalgan”, etc.

If, going to the pharmacy, you know not only the commercial name of the drug, but also the scientific name, then the choice will be much wider. Moreover, the doctor, when making prescriptions, must use the grouping or international non-proprietary name of the drug, and only in extreme cases – the commercial one. Such a measure eliminates the commercial interest in distributing a particular drug to a doctor, but warms it up among the pharmacy workers. Therefore, before buying drugs, it is useful to understand what exactly you want to get.

What drugs are: original, generic and analogs

What you need to know when buying medicines

The original drug is the first drug created with just such a composition and action that was patented by the manufacturer. It passes all the necessary safety and efficacy tests and, after registration, goes to pharmacies. At the time of patent protection – 20 years in our country – this is the only drug of its kind.

Originator is the gold standard, literally and figuratively. The full cycle of drug development lasts on average 10-12 years and costs about $ 2 billion. The drug enters the market at a multiple overpriced in order to bring the desired income to the manufacturer in the remaining 8-10 years. At the end of the patent law, generics will be taken away from him.

Generic (generic, copy, synonym, reproducible drug) is a drug copied from the original, but with a different commercial name. The amount and chemical composition of the active ingredient in the original medicine and the copy are the same. The creators of the generic drug do not spend money and time on the development of a new substance, on its preclinical and clinical trials – everything has already been done before them. However, a generic drug may differ from its predecessor in the production technology and the composition of additional components that affect the absorption of the substance in the body. Therefore, in order to obtain a registration certificate and enter the market, manufacturers are required to conduct a bioequivalence study with the original drug.

Thanks to the simplified registration system, the reproducible drug is significantly cheaper. Most of the assortment of any pharmacy is represented by just generics.