Medicines and substitutes: how to choose the right medicine

Now the pharmaceutical market is teeming with varieties of drugs. However, not all of them can be of high quality and effective.

They told how to choose the right medicines and how to distinguish real medicines from substitutes.

How not to Яarm the body during treatment

When it comes to choosing medicines, choosing the right one is of the utmost importance. Indeed, this is not the style of trousers or the taste of pizza – mistakes with medicines are much more critical. At the same time, this choice is very difficult and has many pitfalls. Having explored this, we will try to bypass all obstacles.

Eloquent figures

According to statistics, Ukrainians spend up to 26% of funds for the purchase of drugs on drugs with dubious, unproven effectiveness. And this, you see, is quite a lot. Why is this happening? Because, firstly, such medicines are widely represented on our market, and secondly, because many of us self-medicate and prefer not to visit a doctor, but the advice of pharmacists who may offer to purchase not a medicine, but commercially attractive substitutes – dietary supplements .

Important nuances

Navigating the sea of ​​modern pharmaceutical products is not easy. Indeed, in addition to original medicines, there are copy preparations that are not medicines, but are registered as dietary supplements. What makes them different?

The original drug, a medicinal product, has passed a full course of preclinical and clinical studies of efficacy and safety and received the appropriate registration certificate. As for the so-called “copies”, dietary supplements do not undergo efficacy and safety studies. They may even contain the same substance as the original drug, but no one regulates or requires that this active substance be of the appropriate quality and effectiveness. In addition, dietary supplements do not have a proven therapeutic effect, they can only contribute functionally and be nutritional supplements – do not treat.

Doubtful offer

But there is another serious problem – the sale by pharmacies and pharmacists of drugs that are not actually drugs. In particular, some pharmacy chains recommend buying substitutes instead of well-known drugs. In some, there is a practice of pharmacists creating and promoting their own brands, even at the cost of refusing to sell the drug to the consumer under the pretext of “already booked”.

These are, in fact, not medicines, but dietary supplements, for which the requirements for the cycle of research and registration before launching into mass production are much lower, which the AMCU has already drawn attention to and has begun an investigation into unfair competition. But, again, they have a price that unconditionally captivates. For pharmacies, this practice is more profitable – higher profits. But is it beneficial for patients who come for well-known drugs, but receive drugs with unproven effect? Isn’t it time to remember the saying that the miser pays twice?

What are the risks of substitutes?

Firstly, since these are not drugs, they do not fully work – that is, they do not have a proven therapeutic effect.

Secondly, without having the necessary action, they may well harm, if not directly, then indirectly – you will lose precious time, and in some cases the health consequences can be very serious.

And thirdly, these are economic losses, a person spends extra money without getting the desired action.

It is important to understand what a drug is and what is its substitute.