Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said that drug mafia is sabotaging generic drugs use in Kashmir. President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement issued here said that drug mafia is preventing affordable generic drugs from reaching the poor. “There is a deep-rooted nexus between doctors and pharma companies that is keeping generic drugs away from patients. Doctors prescribe expensive brand-name drugs when equally effective cheaper generic versions are available,” Dr. Hassan alleged. He said that for writing these costly drugs to gullible patients, pharma companies provide these doctors everything from luxury cars, family trips to household items. “Clinicians are fed and bred by pharma companies for pushing patients to purchase branded medicines. This unholy nexus is misleading public by disseminating false information regarding generic drugs that is preventing generic medicines from getting popular,” he announced. The DAK, President said that while the use of generic drugs has increased over time, in Kashmir doctors continue to dole out expensive therapies for monetary gains. “Despite generic drugs helping save lives, doctors shy away from prescribing them and instead prescribe brandname drugs. A generic drug is a medication that is equivalent to a brand-name in dosage, strength, route of administration, quality, safety, performance and intended use,” he informed. He said that generic drugs are 80-90% less costly than brand-name drugs. Interestingly, research has found that out-of-pocket costs were lowered significantly among patients who were prescribed generic medications compared with patients who have been prescribed brandname drugs. “Additionally, patients who were prescribed generic medicines were more likely to follow their medication therapies. Even the MCI has issued directives to doctors to prescribe generic medicines as far as possible that makes it mandatory for doctors,” the statement said. He said that following this, center has asked all the states to ask their doctors to prescribe generic medicines. In order to push generic drugs, center has indicated to bring in a legal framework under which doctors will have to prescribe generic medicines to patients, Dr. Nissar added.