Despite the rising incidence of chronic and lifestyle illnesses and an ever-increasing economic burden on households, generic medicines barely command any market share of drug sales in India. In fact, studies show that 76% of the health expenditures for any ailment go towards medicines. In the USA more than 85% of the prescriptions are in Generic names compared to India where it is hardly 1% of all the prescriptions, leaving an opportunity open for Generics to step in. Moreover, a general lack of awareness about safe and affordable generic alternatives is one of the key roadblocks to the popularity and adoption of generics on a mass scale. Addressing this, Medkart, a leading omni-channel retailer of generic medicines in India, recently launched two dedicated online platforms – a portal and an Android mobile application that helps consumers discover, know about and purchase generic medicines (https://www.medkart.in/).
The easy-to-navigate platforms offer information and enable consumers to understand and choose the most affordable alternative from across 4,000+ safe drug molecules cutting across 99.9% therapies. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdYoEeYfbPo)
“One can search medicines based on brand names as well as molecule names and compare the prices and composition of each drug, with a few clicks and swipes. For instance, if a diabetic patient has been prescribed Sitagliptin, one can simply search the brand name or the molecule name and get all the alternatives available, and compare the prices. This will enable the consumer to make an informed decision and be rest assured of the quality as each generic medicine retailed on Medkart is from WHO-GMP certified manufacturers,” said Ankur Agarwal, co-founder, Medkart.
For Medkart Pharmacy, the health and happiness of its customers have always been the primary focus. Be it through an awareness campaign, super saver deals or by simplifying the world of generics, Medkart believes in enabling people with the right to choose and enable them to choose right.
“I believe knowledge-sharing is the first step towards changing perceptions. These digital platforms will be India’s first dedicated portal and mobile application for generic medicines that will educate consumers with a series of easy-to-understand videos, disseminate all necessary information about available alternatives for the same drug molecule and make them available through a well-established retail channel too. Besides, the portal as well as the app will help the government’s aim of better pricing of medicines and improved awareness with accurate information on generics which will help households in India reduce their expenses on medicines significantly,” Agarwal further went on to say.
Since its inception in 2014, Medkart has served around 7 lakh families and helped them save Rs 350 crore cumulatively on their medical bills, over the past eight years.
“Over the years, through our experience of successfully running 100+ retail outlets, we’ve noticed a definite spike in curiosity and awareness around generics. A generic medicine is no longer an alien concept. In fact, we have a lot of inquisitive people at our stores inquiring about quality and pricing. Once we address their queries patiently and their questions are answered, almost 98% of them end up buying generic medicines. I feel, our customers have also given us the strength to create this portal as well as the mobile app for knowledge sharing through which we aim to connect with at least 1 crore people and take our mission forward,” says Parasharan Chari, co-founder, Medkart.
Medkart Pharmacy is committed to making safe, affordable medicines easily available to all. Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers are among the leading suppliers of generic medicines to the world, accounting for 20% of the total supply of generics globally at prices lower than Indian prices (Ref: MRP of India vs prices at costplusdrugs.com).
“If India has the manufacturing capacity, the same affordable alternatives must be available to people in India too so that they can bring down their medical expenditures. Soon after the guidelines of the National Medical Commission (NMC) which are expected to be implemented in the days to come, it will be mandatory for medical practitioners to write molecule names of drugs instead of brand names in patient prescriptions. This will bring about the much-needed relief to the out-of-pocket expenses,” said Agarwal.
Agarwal also feels that a little support from the doctors and medical fraternity could go a long way in changing perception around generics. “Buying a particular brand should be a recommendation and not a compulsion.”