The National Department of Health, the South African Pharmacy Council, with the Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa, and Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) as partners, urges the profession to participate enthusiastically in this campaign, and to promote pharmaceutical care to all consumers.
The overall theme, Towards Quality Care Together, will be reinforced in the 2013 Pharmacy Week, with the concerted sub-theme focus that every patient should understand generic medicines.
This also ties in very well with the Department of Health’s national core standards, as well as council’s vision of ensuring quality pharmaceutical service to all the people in South Africa.
The sub-theme, ‘Understand Generic Medicine, talks directly to the patients to make sure that they know and understand the medicines that are dispensed to them by their pharmacists. Patients have the responsibility to know that the Generic medicines they are taking are good value for money, tested and approved, good quality, effective and safe before they leave the pharmacy.
Generic medicine in essence means that it has the same active ingredient; strength and dosage form as the original medicines and used in the same way. Generic medicines may look and taste different to the original brand medicine.
Generic medicines are:
of good quality
tested and approved by the Medicines Control Council
good value for money, as research and development costs are lower.
It takes time and money to develop new medicine. A company that makes a new medicine is the only company that can sell that medicine for a certain period of time. Once this time is over other companies are allowed to make the same medicine. These medicines are called generic medicines.
Pharmacists are the source of valuable information in terms of the above and can provide advice on making the correct health and lifestyle choices. Patients are encouraged to openly talk to their pharmacists about their health matters.
Every pharmacy professional is asked to promote this message in their daily interactions with patients, and to make the most of every opportunity to educate and inform consumers about pharmacy.