The introduction of several new generic intravenous (IV) therapies in South Africa could keep spiralling healthcare costs in check as the need for surgical procedures resulting from trauma and burgeoning incidences of illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, increase.
Peploc IV, Meroject and Dyna Teicoplanin are IV products which Pharma Dynamics has launched to date and a further 10, covering a spectrum of antibiotic, analgesics and iron sucrose treatments will come on to the market in the next 12 months.
Paul Anley, CEO of generics firm, Pharma Dynamics says the hospital IV market is still fairly new to generics, but stands to save up to 50% if generics are adopted as a first line treatment.
"Physicians are also increasingly being put under pressure to provide a high standard of care in a cost-effective manner and can now do so by substituting expensive innovator IV therapies with proven generic equivalents at almost half the price."
However, physicians still tend to shy away from treating patients with life-threatening injuries or illnesses with generic IV therapies.
Anley points out that because the local hospital IV market is not as genericised, physicians question the quality and efficacy of generic products. Globally however, substitution with generic IV therapies is fast becoming common practice. A trend that will hopefully spill over to South Africa.
"There is no reason for physicians to doubt the efficacy of generic medicines, as they must comply with the same standards of quality, safety and efficacy as that of originator drugs. Generics also contain the exact same active ingredients as the originator.
"Even though generic medicines may contain different inactive ingredients, none of these have any impact on the therapeutic effect."
Physicians often single out antimicrobials as an area where they are extremely sceptical about the use of generic therapies. To allay practitioners' concerns and prove the efficacy and safety of its products, Pharma Dynamics will be putting the bulk of its newly launched IV range through a Minimum Inhibitory Concentration test. The first of its products, meropenem, which microbiological activity was tested against that of the innovator's compound, proved successful.
The in-vitro experiment conducted independently by Wits University demonstrated that the microbiological activity of the active ingredient in the intravenous generic formulation matched that of the originator product and as such will have the same clinical effect.
"We take our role as a responsible and ethical provider of generic medicines seriously and through these clinical trials aim to build further trust among healthcare practitioners and patients about the quality of our products," concludes Anley.
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