Affordable generics to fight Aids and other life threatening illnesses
The fight against the HIV and AIDS will be won with quality affordable medicine and effective treatment. Pioneering generic medicine research and manufacturing firm, Gallene Sciences is on the threshold of releasing into the market, effective and affordable generic medicines to fight Aids, which will retail at much lower prices than conventional brands currently used in India, Africa and the rest of the world.
Gallene Sciences Chief Executive, Keyur Kiritkumar Shah, says these generic drugs will retail at below a dollar a day. That is two dollars less than the current amount of three dollars spent by patients on Adult Retroviral Therapy (ART) in Kenya every day.
According to available data, the median economic unit cost per patient per year is $248.91 (KSh24,891) for established adult ART patients; or $120.72 (KSh12,072) when the cost of ARVs is excluded. The median cost per patient per year was $116.71 (KSh11,671) for pre-ART patients.
Costs are higher for established paediatric patients at $292.60 (KSh29,260) compared to established adult patients. Newly initiating ART patients were also associated with higher costs than established ART patients at $274.95 (KSh27,495) for adults and $318.73 (KSh31,873) for paediatric patients. This is according to a report released by the National Aids Control Council (NACC)
According to Shah, while patients in some African countries where ARTs are subsidized can access medicine for a dollar a day, millions of survivors within the continent and from Asia, pay between $300 (KSh3,000) and $400 (KSh40,000) per month. In Europe this figure could go up to $1,000 (KSH100,000) for patients without medical insurance. It is this gap that Gallene Sciences seeks to fill.
By making quality generics, affordable and widely accessible to those who need it, Gallene Sciences will change the lives of millions of survivors for the better. They will no longer need to spend too much money to treat common ailments and life threatening diseases, including HIV, Hepatitis, cancer, hypertension and obesity among others.
Money saved will go a long way in helping patients afford better nutrition and personal care necessary for their wholesome well-being.
The availability of quality, certified and affordable generics also plays a major role in protecting vulnerable people from the harmful counterfeits and fake medication that have flooded the market at the expense of poor patients who cannot afford the more expensive brands.
Based in Ahmedabad India, Gallene is also revolutionising cancer patient care and management by offering cancer patients unique opportunities to make informed choices about the various forms of cancer treatment options available from chemotherapy, surgery or radiation therapy.
Gallene Sciences is also pioneering hormone replacement therapy for people with HIV, whose bodies cannot maintain healthy hormone levels with great success. The Myogen hormone replacement therapy will be made available at affordable prices by 2019.
“The work we do at Gallene Sciences is simply amazing, we have a world class facility aimed at solving the world’s most untreatable ailments using methodologies that are standardized. This brings our job in hormonal treatment with Myogen to mind,” says Shah. He notes: “I strongly believe we have what it takes to make a mark.”
This is extremely good news for the thousands of Kenyans who go to India annually in search of affordable and effective treatment for a wide range of ailments.
According to the International Finance Corporation, East Africans spend one billion dollars each year seeking medical attention in India.
It is pharmaceuticals companies like Gallene Sciences that use cutting edge technology and research methodologies to manufacture quality and affordable medicines that have placed India high among countries in the world that are increasingly turning to generics to treat common ailments as opposed to brand pharmaceuticals, to help bring down the cost of treatment for millions patients who cannot afford the more expensive brand options.
India now requires pharmaceuticals to list drugs by their generic names and compel doctors to prescribe these drugs over more expensive brands to cut cost and has received World Health Organisation (WHO) recognition for their effort.
“India’s move towards promoting generic medicines will make a huge difference by saving a significant amount of money, most of which is spent out-of-pocket on healthcare,” says Shah. The WHO applauds this move and “we will also recommend other countries in the region to adopt similar policies”.
“Guaranteed access to affordable, quality generic medicines will help curb the wide spread distribution and use of counterfeits and fake drugs,” said Dr Peter Mwithera, a Kenyan medical researcher and patent holder for Unipron Gel, a microbicidal contraceptive and a microbicide against HIV and other STIs.
Said Mwithera: “Availability of cheaper generics is vital to counter proliferation of harmful fake medicines and counterfeits in Kenya.”
Gallene Sciences is at the forefront of promoting the use of safe medicines and has partnered with PSM India towards this end. The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), a group of non-profit organisations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from counterfeit drugs, recently partnered with PSM India and brings together consumer advocates, industry leaders and government officials, in a spirited campaign to identify and implement meaningful solutions that address the worldwide counterfeit drug crisis.
A generic drug is a pharmaceutical medicine that is equivalent to a brand-name product in dosage, strength, route of administration, quality, performance, and intended use.
Generic drugs become available after the patent protections afforded to a drug’s original developer expire. This period could range between seven and 20 years. Once generic drugs enter the market, competition often leads to substantially lower prices for both the original brand-name product and its generic equivalents.
According to an analysis by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, in 2014 generic drugs accounted for 88 percent of the 4.3 billion prescriptions filled in the United States putting millions of dollars more back into the pockets of patients, money they would otherwise spend on expensive brand medicines, which are not necessarily more effective.
Gallene Sciences is licensed to operate in India and has met all regulatory requirements to manufacture generics as per U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP)
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Indian drug regulation authorities.
The FDA allows specific generics to be the first in the market after seven years of exclusive production by the patent holder. The first generic enjoys exclusivity for six months, after which any manufacturer that can show proof of their ability to achieve the same drug concentrations in the blood that the brand name does, can make a generic.
Manufacturers of generics aren’t required to do studies in people to prove safety because that has been proven in the original brand. Eliminating the cost of research and trials makes generics a lot cheaper than the original.
According to pharmacists, generics are every bit as effective as the original brand because they contain the same active ingredient as the original but blood concentration in milligrams may vary.
According to the FDA generic drugs do not need to contain the same inactive ingredients as the brand name product. These have no therapeutic action but are binding materials, dyes, preservatives, and flavouring agents. They give a different colour, taste and feel look. Different manufacturers may use different colours for the same drug. A person may have an allergic reaction to an inactive ingredient in one generic and not another.
Are generics safe for everyone?
Experts advice caution for people using medicine for seizures, heart conditions, thyroid medication and blood thinners otherwise known as NTI’s (Narrow Therapeutic Index) drugs because blood concentrations required to achieve a therapeutic dose and concentrations that will cause harm are very close and as such minor changes in concentration can lead to ineffective or toxic responses. Patients are advised to talk to their doctors before switching to generics to weigh risks and benefits and for close monitoring.
- Additional information from the Internet