"By March next year, the Tripura government will provide generic medicines instead of branded medicines to people in all government hospitals," health department director Satya Ranjan Debbarma told reporters.

Branded medicines cost 2-15 times more than non-branded generic medicines. Tamil Nadu was the first state in India to introduce generic medicine in 1994.

Debbarma and doctors from Tripura recently visited Rajasthan to observe the distribution of generic medicines among the people.

The Rajasthan government has set up a corporation to collect medicines in bulk from sources and supply these among patients through notified outlets.

"Prices of branded medicines are generally higher than prices of equivalent generic medicines due to various reasons, including that of the marketing process," the official said.

He said that state Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty also visited Rajasthan recently to examine the scheme of supply of generic medicines.

The health department has entered into an agreement with the Tripura State Cooperative Bank to start a pharmacy of generic medicine inside the Gobinda Ballav Panth Medical College and Hospital here, he said.


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