Generic medicine is known to have the same dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, and performance characteristics as brand-name medicine. It works in the same way and provides the same clinical benefits and outcomes that are bioequivalent to the brand-name counterparts.
As per the circular US/27/18 published on July 23 2018 for regulating the dispensing of generic medicine, DoH encourages healthcare facilities to start offering more generic medicine options to provide patients with better value for money. Under the new mechanism, DoH has set a reference price for drug categories with equivalent generic substitute, whereas reference prices have not been listed for drugs with no generic substitute. Patients who wish to claim medications with higher value than those listed on the reference price list will be required to pay the difference in price.
Mohammed Al Hajj, Director of Health System Financing Division at DoH said: “We have looked at the successful application of similar generic medicine policies in other countries worldwide. We worked alongside our strategic partners in both the public and private healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi to involve them in the development process and gradual application of the mechanism to ensure the healthcare system is well aligned to further deliver exceptional care services in Abu Dhabi.”
Many countries worldwide have successfully encouraged the use of generic medicine over brand-medicine. In Germany, for example, 80% of prescribed drugs are generic, whereas in the UK 78% of prescribed drugs are generic.
Dr. Khaled Al Jaberi, Director, Healthcare Licensing & Medical Education Division at DoH explained: “DoH monitors and regulates the medication options available in the market to ensure their effectiveness and quality. The DoH and Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) follow stringent drug licensing policies and procedures for generic medicine prior to launching them in the market. This ensures pharmaceutical companies adhere to highest standards of manufacturing that follows standard dosages and contain active ingredients with the same medical usages and quality as brand medicines. At the same time, patients are welcome to provide their suggestions and complaints on available drugs that are deemed ineffective.”
The new mechanism is also set to open new gateways for the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in the country and aimed at further enhancing the quality of healthcare services delivered as well as maintaining the healthcare system’s sustainability