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

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact
Weather
1240 views
Weather
1240 views

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact

John McPhaul - December 12, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica
Weather
3775 views
Weather
3775 views

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica

Katherine Stanley - December 12, 2017

High winds claimed the life of a fourth victim in Costa Rica as the cold front that has been moving…

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie
Keylor Navas
869 views
Keylor Navas
869 views

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie

AFP - December 11, 2017

Real Madrid's first foray into the January transfer market will be to snap up Athletic Bilbao's promising goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga,…