Choosing a medicine is a difficult task. There are several criteria: quality, price, and how they are combined.
Ultimately, the choice depends on the health – yours or your loved ones. Informburo.kz, together with SANTO, figured out how to choose medicines so as not to save on health and at the same time not to spend too much on treatment.
No. 1. How to choose a drug that will help you?
Only a doctor can prescribe a drug that is right for you, relieves your symptoms and cures your illness. But first you need to pass tests (the doctor will tell you which ones). You should not experiment with your health, especially if you are ill with a specific disease for the first time. However, over-the-counter medications must be chosen carefully.
No. 2. Is it possible and necessary to save on medicines?
You can save a lot on medicines. In addition, it is also desirable: after all, we often overpay for something that we absolutely do not need. It’s just that many people are too lazy to look at the instructions.
If a doctor has prescribed you a certain medicine for a certain disease, then:
find the instructions for the drug on the Internet;
highlight the main components in the composition of the medicine;
drive in the search “drugs containing * the main component *”;
carefully study the list: you need to find a medicine that, in composition and dosage, is as close as possible to what the doctor prescribed for you;
by entering the name of your city and the desired medicine into the search, you will find information about which pharmacy you can buy it in.
Number 3. What are generics?
Generics (generics, generics, generic drugs, generic drugs) are drugs with proven pharmaceutical, biological and therapeutic equivalence to the original. Placed on the market after the expiration of the patent protection of original drugs (most often 20 years). Generics are just as effective as the originals, but are several times cheaper.
No. 4. Are there drug promotions?
There are no “three for the price of one” promotions for drugs. Most often, an inexpensive but pleasant gift is attached to a certain expensive medicine (for example, a package of medical masks for a package of throat lozenges, a bottle of antibacterial gel for a cough medicine). If you are heading to a pharmacy for a certain drug that is actively advertised, go to the manufacturer’s website – advertising often also indicates a promotion. Just determine first whether this is a Kazakhstani version of advertising, because sometimes gifts are given out in Russia, but we don’t.
No. 5. Does Kazakhstan have its own pharmaceutical companies?
Few people guess, but the most popular generics among Kazakhstanis are produced in Shymkent. The Shymkent plant turns 135 this year, and before Kazakhstan gained independence, this plant was the largest producer of medicinal substances in the Soviet Union. Now production is invested from abroad, and for the last five years the company has been called Chimpharm JSC with the trademark SANTO Member of Polpharma Group. The company produces almost all popular brands of medicines, which not only cover the domestic market, but are also exported. So far, SANTO has no major competitors in Kazakhstan, but they are far from foreign giants with billions of dollars of budgets. Other Kazakh companies are mainly engaged in the resale of foreign brands – medicines and equipment.
No. 6. Which is better – the original or generics?
Nothing is better – the effectiveness of the drug is measured by the dosage of the active substance. So we can say that the original and the generic act exactly the same. Only the original costs more.
No. 7. What are the differences between local and foreign manufacturers?
And again about the price: locally produced medicines are much cheaper than foreign analogues. Why? No, it’s not just the high cost of shipping. But rather, that many large manufacturers include in the cost of the drug the cost of advertising it, which sometimes rises into the millions of dollars. And Kazakh and Russian productions are much more modest.
No. 8. How to compare drugs-analogues?
There are several indicators, comparing which, you can make the right choice:
- dosage of the active substance;
- formulation of the drug (sweet shell for tablets or a spoon for cough syrup);
- release form (tablets, capsules, ampoules, and so on);
- availability in nearby pharmacies;
No. 9. How to distinguish a fake?
Counterfeiting drugs is a complex, time-consuming and criminal process. Therefore, serious drugs are rarely faked, it is easier to release another dietary supplement from chalk and starch. But still, 1% of aspirins and citramones in our pharmacies are fake. Mostly the simplest or seasonal medicines are counterfeited. Most likely, pacifiers will not harm in any way, or even help (the “placebo” effect). Carefully examine the packaging, the following signs indicate that the medicine is counterfeit: