Generics Month Sept 2022The month of September is known as the Generics Awareness Month. The event celebrates the passing of the law – the Generics Act of 1988 or Republic Act No. 6675 which guarantees all Filipinos affordable and effective medications.

The 2008 Cheaper Medicines Act amended the Generics Act to require pharmaceutical companies to make generic drugs widely available. By requiring doctors to include both generic and brand names on prescriptions, the law promotes low-cost, high-quality alternatives to branded drugs.

The Cheaper Medicines Act of 2008 amended sections of the Generics Act and now requires pharmaceutical companies to manufacture, distribute, and make generic drugs widely available.

Establishing the Generics Awareness Month aims to strengthen and bring the campaign closer to all stakeholders in this new normal environment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health (DOH) organized the virtual summit and maximized the use of online platforms to disseminate advocacy materials to increase public awareness of generic medicines.

Significant advantage of using generic drugs is cost. It has been demonstrated that lower-cost generic drugs increase the likelihood that patients will take essential medications prescribed by their doctors and improve the health outcomes of patients. Variations in appearance should not affect the drug's efficacy or safety, but this is a disadvantage of generic medications. When switching from a brand-name drug to a generic form or from one generic drug to another generic drug, some individuals may experience new or different side effects.

Generics Awareness Month is tied to nutrition because most people take medication daily to treat illnesses and improve health. Regarding food-drug interactions, physicians and pharmacists acknowledge that certain foods and drugs, when taken together, can alter the body's ability to utilize a particular food or drug, or cause severe side effects. Changes in pharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic, or pharmacodynamic properties may lead to clinically significant drug interactions with the potential to cause harm to the patient. Some drug interactions may be exploited for the benefit of patients, but the majority result in adverse drug events.

When a food alters the effects of a drug in the body, this is known as food-drug interaction. Food can prevent medication from working as intended and can cause medicinal side effects to improve or worsen, as well as cause new side effects. Drugs can also alter how the body utilizes food. Green, leafy vegetables, which are rich in vitamin K, can reduce the blood-thinning effect of aspirin. Consuming the same quantity of green-leafy vegetables daily will reduce this interaction. Milk, yoghurt, and cheese are dairy products that inhibit the absorption of antibiotics.

All medicines, both in prescription and over-the-counter, can cause long-term side effects in the long run of taking medication. Through this observation about generic drugs, most people can buy medicines at a lower price, allowing some to use it without knowing it. Thus, generic drugs are identical to brand-name drugs but much more cost-effective. #LLDOpaon/NASLabordo




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