The source of generic drugs plays a key role in patients’ confidence in the medication. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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The planned adoption of unified prescription forms aims to place more power in the hands of patients to opt for generic drugs, but it remains to be seen whether demand among Lebanese consumers for generics will rise.Here, Beirut resident Nick Majdalani stops to pick up medications for his family.In his opinion, the choice between generics and name brands in Lebanon comes down to trust and cost. Representatives from these bodies have said the new forms will save patients money by allowing them to request generics or cheaper substitutions for name brand drugs."The problem in Lebanon is that anybody can bring any medication," the pharmacist says, speaking to The Daily Star on condition of anonymity.He points to the variety of countries that export drugs to Lebanon which makes it difficult to know if the drug has been properly tested. She adds that the Health Ministry has published a list of approved generics, which pharmacists must rely on when substituting for name brands. Further, she says that drugs entering the country are reviewed by a committee of representatives from the Order of Pharmacists and the ministry, who study incoming name brands and generics according to WHO guidelines.
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