Generic substitution and the law
In 2003, the generic substitution provision in the Medicines and Related Substance Control Act 101 of 1965 came into effect (1). This law compels pharmacists (and dispensing doctors) to offer patients a generic substitute for any medicine prescribed (1).
How does this affect you, the patient?
When you present your pharmacist with a prescription:
- The pharmacist is obliged to inform you of the benefits of substituting with a generic medicine (2)
- You have the right to refuse to accept the substitution (2)
- Should you accept the substitution, your pharmacist will dispense the generic medicine and take reasonable steps to inform the prescriber of the substitution (2)
The final choice to accept generic substitution rests with YOU.
When may generic substitution NOT take place?
- If you decide not to accept the generic substitution (2)
- If the prescriber has written in his or her own handwriting on the prescription the words “no substitution” next to the item prescribed (do not hesitate to discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist) (2)
- If the generic medicine is more expensive than the original medicine (i.e. there is no cost saving to the patient) (2)
Why choose a generic medicine?
- Generics offer substantial cost savings without compromising on efficacy (1,3)
- Cost saving allows you more efficient use of your medical aid benefits (3)
- Cost saving allows for more money to pay for other, more expensive treatments and services that you may need (4)
- Lower priced medicines encourage more healthy competition in the market (3)
- Generics offer you the opportunity to exercise your rights as a consumer (3)
Where can I get more information about generic medicines?
Speak to your healthcare professional about the effectiveness of generic medicines and how they can help you choose an affordable medicine.
Why choose an Adcock Ingram generic medicine?
Adcock Ingram manufactures registered generic medicines which are of good quality, safety and efficacy. Adcock Ingram is one of South Africa’s leading manufacturers of generic medicines and has been providing healthcare solutions for over a century (5). Our product list includes treatments for the most commonly occurring diseases and disorders and we have several generics that have become leaders in the generic category.
Adcock Ingram strives to bring you affordable generic medicines of the highest quality. We believe in adding value to you and your loved ones and therefore offer a range of quality medicines which you can depend on.
Adcock Ingram Generics – It’s a matter of trust.
Ask your pharmacist for an Adcock Ingram generic medicine the next time you fill a prescription.
1. Van der Westhuizen E, Burger JR, Lubbe MS, et al. Further potential savings attributable to maximum generic substitution of antidepressants in South Africa: A retrospective analysis of medical claims. Health SA Gesondheid 2010,15(1):DOI:10.4102/hsag.v15i1.520.
2. Generic substitution. Medicines and Related Substances Act 101 of 1965 of South Africa. 3. Black GS. Guidelines for the responsible use of generic medicines [brochure].Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa. 4. Generic medicines, frequently asked questions [online]. Southern African Generic Medicines Association. 2015 [cited 2015 Mar 03], Available from: http://www.sagma.net/component/com_fsf/Itemid,
153/catid,1/view,faq/. 5. Generics. Adcock Ingram. [Online] 2015. [cited 2015 Feb 27], Available from URL: http://www.adcock.co.za
Adcock Ingram Limited. Reg. No. 1949/034385/06. Private Bag X69, Bryanston, 2021, South Africa. Telephone + 27 11 635 0000. www.adcock.com