Your prescription is expensive, your pharmacist has recommended cheaper brands he calls generics but you are not sure whether what you are about to pay for is genuine or fake. The impression that he called the first version of drugs “original” creates the uneasy sense that makes the alternative fake. Here are some of the facts you need to consider before you figure out whether a drug is fake or not.
Who regulates the distribution of medication in Kenya?
The Pharmacy and Poisons Board is the body mandated by law under the Pharmacy and Poisons Act (cap 244) to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety, and well-being of members of the public by upholding standards and public trust in pharmacy. The board regulates the practice of pharmacy and the manufacture and trade of drugs and poisons. The body, therefore, sets the standards of conduct by monitoring closely pharmacy professionals and premises ensuring locally manufactured, imported, exported, distributed, sold or used medical products are safe. Every registered pharmacy has a special code which is meant to be displayed publicly for everyone to see. Any fake or substandard drug can be reported and action taken according to law by the board.
What is a fake drug?
A fake drug is that which is sold or advertised with a similar display as the original form of the drug. This means the fake drug may look exactly like the original or have information that may confuse the consumer if not careful. The pharmacist or user through experience can establish the difference although for a new person this can be difficult. The fake drug may be produced at lower costs and sold at the same price as the original brand.
Why do people refer to certain drugs as original?
An “original” or brand name drug product is usually the first to be developed by a pharmaceutical company. This is usually a multinational brand available in most countries worldwide. The original drug is usually more expensive than generic. The manufacturing company of a brand name drug spent a lot of time and money to determine clinical safety and efficacy and this justifies why the costs are mostly high. The drug also needs to get Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval which requires a lot of study and research. This makes the production of a generic drug be as simple as buying raw materials and getting to work.
Is a generic drug fake?
A generic drug is a pharmaceutical drug that is equivalent to a brand-name or original drug in dosage, strength, route of administration, quality, performance and intended use with the same active ingredient as the original.