Federation Campaigns Against Generic Drugs

September 16, 2005

IN a subtle break from its message last year, the Central American Federation of Pharmaceutical Laboratories (FEDEFARMA) is pushing a pro-name-brand drug campaign that calls into question the quality of generic drugs.Last year, then-president of FEDEFARMA, Rodolfo Lambour, stressed that generic drugs are not inferior, saying, “We have nothing against the concept of generic medicine,” and that they are legitimate, less-costly alternatives when tested properly (TT, Oct. 22, 2004).Now, the federation’s campaign in Costa Rica and Guatemala frames name brand drugs as safer and higher-quality.“The goal of this campaign is to let consumers know what is implied in the quality of a pharmaceutical product and what risks are associated with the purchase of a product that has not demonstrated its quality,” current federation president Christian Naumann said.FEDEFARMA, which represents multinational drug companies including Bayer, Pfizer and Bristol-Meyers Squibb, most of which produce original – not generic – drugs, launched its campaign Sept. 7, and revealed its plans to wire service EFE yesterday.“In our countries, unfortunately, to make it on the health registry, a generic pharmaceutical product is not required to verify its quality or faithfulness to the design of the original,” Naumann said.“Our authorities do not demand studies of bioequivalency or bioavailability.”Bioavailability refers to the amount of the active ingredient in any formula and how it disperses itself in the body, and bioequivalency refers to the proof that the generic product is the same as the original in terms of its effect on the body and its dosage.Some countries have moved forward with proper testing laws, Naumann said, including Costa Rica, which established a regulation that will take effect in February. One drawback to requiring such tests of generic drugs is that it could raise the cost to the consumer. The alternative, however, is uncertainty, at best, and death at worst. Last year a generic blood anti-coagulant called Warfarin was the suspected culprit in the deaths of three patients with mechanical heart valves (TT, Oct. 22, 2004).

You may be interested

Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwide
Changemakers
64 views
Changemakers
64 views

Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwide

Mitzi Stark - May 23, 2018

The Clodomiro Picado Institute is spread along the main road of Dulce Nombre de Coronado, northeast of San José. Its…

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
190 views
sports
190 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network
Human rights
247 views
Human rights
247 views

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network

Elizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018

As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…