Cure Lies Elsewhere

Generic medicines can’t be the first, or only, step to reduce the cost of treatment

At the inauguration of a hospital in Surat recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his government’s intent to bring in a law whereby doctors will have to prescribe only generic medicines. Any conscientious citizen of the country, doctors included, will applaud this initiative as it intends to provide direct financial relief to the common man and limit the influence of major private companies in the pharmaceutical market. Unfortunately, the outcome of the initiative may turn out to be unhealthy in practice.

As with most policies, the devil is in the detail. In India, the unholy doctor-pharma nexus results in a symbiotic relationship leading to unnecessary, expensive prescriptions. This, of course, is a matter of grave concern. But it is important to realise that besides the doctor, this unholy nexus also has the pharmaceutical company as an equal partner. The intended legal proposal of the government has the means to rein in the doctor to an extent, but the pharmaceutical company goes unscathed. At present, these companies “bribe” doctors into writing drugs of their choice because doctors have the power to prescribe medicines. Once this power is taken away, as intended by the proposed law, the onus of giving the branded generic drug will be with the chemist. It doesn’t require rocket science to understand where the pharmaceutical companies will focus then.............................................................................Continue Reading (INDIAN EXPRESS


1) Prescribe (लिख) - Pres-cribe
Meaning - (of a medical practitioner) advise and authorize the use of (a medicine or treatment) for someone, especially in writing - Verb
state authoritatively or as a rule that (an action or procedure) should be carried out - Verb
Synonyms - define, determine
Antonyms - confuse, disallow
Example - The doctor prepared to prescribe a receipt.

2) Conscientious (ईमानदार) - Co-shi-en-tous
Meaning - wishing to do one's work or duty well and thoroughly - Adjective
Synonyms - diligent, complete
Antonyms - careless, indifferent
Example - We are generally very conscientious about our work.

3) Nexus (बंधन) - nex-us
Meaning - a connection or series of connections linking two or more things - Noun
Synonyms - center, link 
Antonyms - outside, exterior
Example - Times Square is the nexus of the New York subway.

4) Havoc (नाश) - Have-oc
Meaning - widespread destruction - Noun
lay waste to, devastate - Verb
Synonyms - calamity, destruction
Antonyms - blessing, calm
Example - A strike will cause havoc for commuters.

5) Unscathed (पूरा हुआ) - Un-scay-athe
Meaning - without suffering any injury, damage, or harm - Adjective
Synonyms - unharmed, unhurt
Antonyms - harmed, injured
Example - He escaped unscathed from the accident.

6) Chronic (जीर्ण) - Chrow-nick
Meaning - (of an illness) persisting for a long time or constantly recurring - Adjective
Synonyms - constant, continous
Antonyms - ceasing, ending
Example - There is a chronic shortage of teachers.

7) Stringent (कड़ी से कड़ी) - Strin-gent
Meaning - (of regulations, requirements, or conditions) strict, precise, and exacting - Adjective
Synonyms - binding, demanding
Antonyms - calm, easy
Example - She failed to meet the stringent selection criteria.

8) Efficacy (प्रभावोत्पादकता) - Effi-k-c
Meaning - the ability to produce a desired or intended result - Noun
Synonyms - adequacy, potency
Antonyms - idleness, inactivity
Example - Recent medical studies confirm the efficacy of a healthier lifestyle.

Word of the Day
Kakistocracy (निकृष्ट लोगों की सरकार)
  • Meaning - a state or country run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens - Verb
  • Example (English) - Even in the twenty first century, we are seeing powerful and developed nations experiencing kakistocracy.
  • Example (Hindi) - इक्कीसवीं शताब्दी में भी हम शक्तिशाली और विकसित राष्ट्रों में निकृष्ट लोगों की सरकारों का राज देख रहे हैं।
Now considering the article above as a Reading Comprehension question, try to answer the following -
  • How are generic medicines evaluated?
  • How is the safety of generic medicines monitored?
Given below are some words to check your vocabulary you can make sentences with those words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us.
  • Generic
  • Conscience
  • Dispensing
  • Intent
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