Insights On Colour Coding for Generic and Branded Drugs

The suggestion to colour code generic drugs was put forth at a recent Drugs Consultative Committee Meeting. In addition, the government is also taking into consideration the use of symbols that can smoothly recognize generic medicines. The government has promoted this idea to allow consumers to differentiate between generic drugs and other drugs and take an informed decision while purchasing medications.

A survey was conducted in the WhiteCoats app, to know doctors’ views about the governments’ decision.

The survey comprised of 5 different questions and doctors from various specialties actively participated in the survey.

176 doctors actively responded to the survey, which included general practitioners (57.95%), internists (10.79%), diabetologists (9.65%), ophthalmologists (5.68%), dermatologists and otolaryngologists (3.97% each), pharmacologists (2.84%), and others (5.11%).

When asked if colour coding of drugs could decrease the medication errors made, 86.93% of doctors agreed to it, while 13.06% of doctors denied it. 61.93% of doctors prescribed branded drugs whereas 38.06% of doctors prescribed generic drugs to their patients.

57.95% of physicians think that the proposal to colour code drugs can encourage the sale of generic drugs over branded ones. 71.59% of doctors are of the opinion that their patients would prefer low-cost generic drugs over branded drugs.

Around 81.25% of doctors are of the view that the use of generic drugs can reduce the out of pocket expenditure on healthcare.

It was observed that the number of doctors who prescribed branded drugs was higher. A large number of doctors also agreed that the use of generics could reduce out of the pocket expenditure. If the proposal encourages the sale of generic drugs, it may hold promise for reducing out of pocket payments on medicines.

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