Yan's Corner - In Touch

Sunday, April 17, 2005


The Star reported, “Patients get to pick medicine”. It is about choice. Yes, patients will have a choice of branded medicine or generic drugs.

From the Star,

The planned National Health Financing Scheme will give Malaysians a choice of whether to buy branded drugs or generic medication.

“This is to make things more customer-oriented,” said Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Ismail Merican.

“There are those who prefer branded drugs to generic ones. They will be able to buy these from the hospital pharmacy.

“It will be easier for them when they can make their own choice,” he said.

Dr Ismail said currently doctors prescribed drugs that they felt were most appropriate – generic or branded – to the patient, for free.

He said the new concept of prescription would be tried at the Selayang and Putrajaya Hospitals in June.

Branded drugs refer to drugs within a higher price bracket and are innovative in nature.
They contain active ingredients that have been “discovered” by the pharmaceutical company that holds the patent for the formulation.

Generic drugs – cheaper versions of the innovator drug – are developed by other companies when the patent has expired.

It contains the same active ingredient as the original but may have some different inactive ingredients, such as starch or sugar, that are added to provide a pleasant taste or colour or to help a tablet dissolve in the stomach.

With the explosion of choice in products, services and lifestyles, we are pushed to want the best of everything.

Choice is the power of preference, the right to select, the freedom to elect. Every choice we make may change the course of our life.

James Russell Lowell, the noted writer impeccably describes it this way

“Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood
For the good or evil side
With each choice God speaking to us
Offering each the bloom of blight
Then the man or nation chooses
For the darkness or the light

What will you choose? Branded or generic?

2 comment(s):

I recently went to the SerembanGeneral Hospital as well as, a few days later, accompanied MGF (myGOOD friend) to seek emergency treatment at the same hospital.

It would have been easier to have gone to a private doctor, yet both of us CHOSE the GH. Despite some of the negative feedback one gets on llong waiting time and "uncaring" doctors at government hospitals, both MGF and I would like to record here our appreciation for prompt and adequate treatment. One "fussy" mutual friend has great prejudice against the GH, but then he has to fork out RM30 to RM100 for each visit, especially for his wife who requires constant specialist treatment. Well, to each his/her own choice, but Malaysians must thank that things seem to be improving, esp with the present Minister and newly promoted DG -- "syabas" to Dr Chua Soi Lek and Dr Ismail Merican.

On the post's Q, i son't really care whether it's generic or branded as long as the doctor ensures the particular medicine prescribed does not have "allergic" or side-effects.

Yan - apologies for "digresing" a little from Blog topic -- just wanted to share personal encounters and "right" some misconceptions of govt doctors and service, esp from biased patients with money to spare!

By Blogger desiderata, at 1:13 am  

Well said, Desiderata.

My father-in-law was admitted to Kuching General Hospital last year for about 40 days. He was warded in Cardiac Care unit. we have seen a team of very dedicated and caring doctors, and definitely qualified and well equipped. The kind of medical expertise and personalised touch are unrivalled!

I salute them unreservedly.


By Blogger Yan, at 10:46 am  

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