Why generic printer cartridges are not the same as generic drugs

Why generic printer cartridges are not the same as generic drugs

Australian clinics and medical practices are subject to some of the most complex and stringent regulations, such as the Private Health Facilities Act, and the Private Health Facilities Regulation. It makes sense that there would be such strict oversight, given that people visiting these facilities are likely to be doing so because they have health concerns, and are therefore more susceptible than normal to hazardous substances.

To meet those requirements, and protect the health of patients, administrators and workers within a clinical environment do have a responsibility to be aware, and careful, about how the environment is maintained.

As a whole, Australian medical clinics are very good at meeting their obligations and responsibilities where the health of the patients are concerned. However, something that a lot of healthcare facilities do overlook is the toner used in printers, and while this might sound like something small, the risks are greater than you might assume.

Generic drugs vs generic toners

Health clinics will often prescribe ‘generic’ drugs for medicines in which the relevant patents have expired. These drugs will have the same active ingredient as the commercial, ‘brand name’ version of the drug, but because these drugs were developed by companies that didn’t invest the research and development (R&D) on the medicine, and are often sold without a marketing budget behind them, they’re typically cheaper.

The reason that health clinics don’t mind prescribing these is because a generic drug isn’t any more of a risk to the patient. Generic drugs still need to meet Australia’s extensive standards of quality, safety, and effectiveness to be sold at all, so there’s no reason for the customer to spend more on the “brand drug.” Meanwhile, by prescribing something cheaper, the clinic and pharmacist come out looking good – they’re saving their patient money.

There are also “generic” – or third party – toners available on the market for use in printers. These are manufactured to fit into printers made by another company; for example, a third-party might create a toner for use in a Brother printer. The appeal of these cartridges can be much the same as the appeal of generic drugs – they can be cheaper. Unlike the generic drugs, however, there isn’t the same legal or regulatory oversight in the production of toner.

Why choose Brother Genuine Supplies?

“Some of the doctors or office administrators at clinics have the perception that generic toners go through the same stringent manufacturing and approval process as first party toners,” Brother Commercial Manager, Luke Howard said. “They’re used to expecting safety and reliability from generic drugs and expect the same to be true in other areas.”

“In order to maintain the health safety standards of a clinical environment, it’s important to purchase genuine consumables from the original manufacturer,” Luke added. “In order for toner to fuse onto the page correctly, the compound of the toner is designed to be fused at the temperatures that is set in a laser printer, this is something that only the manufacturer can properly test during the manufacturing process.”

Brother toners: Putting safety first

Even with the digitisation of patient records, and the increasing reliance that we have on computers to cover healthcare from end to end, clinics still need to produce a great deal of printed paper. With an ever-increasing level of regulatory oversight ensuring that medical clinics are doing their utmost to protect their patients, it’s more important than ever that administrators consider the full environment.

As with any chemical, it’s important to operate with toner with a focus on safety. Making sure that you’ve got consumables such as toner cartridges manufactured to exacting standards by the same manufacturer as the printer is important in ensuring that the risk of pollutants entering the environment in minimised.

For more information on Brother printers and toner cartridges, get in touch with our experts. We also provide services to look after your printing needs, so you focus on your patients.

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