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Canada grapples with drugs costs

Government report calls for the widening of the current scheme for brand-name medicines to include generics.

UK spending on brand-name drugs predicted to reduce

Spending by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is under control according to a new report, and in fact spending on brand-name medicines is expected to reduce in real terms and as a proportion of the UK healthcare budget over the next three years.

Generics have their feet under the table in Malaysia

Generics manufacturing, prescribing and sales are becoming firmly part of the scene in Malaysia.

Generics companies turn to ‘third tier’ countries

With pharmaceutical growth in the doldrums in the west, and China and India are becoming increasingly confident, attention is turning to countries such as Indonesia and Turkey.

Is the pharmaceutical industry on the verge of as big a change as we have seen?

‘The old order changeth, yielding place to new’ [1]

For many years the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) negotiations have been criticised as being overly protective of the rights of large pharmaceutical companies. ‘It is unacceptable to threaten developing countries aiming to provide medicines to their populations, and disregarding international commitments to ensure access to medicines,’ ran a Médecins sans Frontières statement in 2010. ‘The US is using its trade laws to bully developing countries into applying arbitrary pharmaceutical industry requests at the expense of millions of people who depend on generic medicines in developing countries.’

Which antiplatelet agent? The debate intensifies

Plavix (clopidogrel) has been a blockbuster drug. The lower cost of generic clopidogrel, available for the first time since 17 May 2012 [1], is intensifying debate among cardiologists over how to make sure patients get optimal benefit from any blood-thinning treatment.

China follows the Indian and Thai route to affordable drugs

China announced measures for the Compulsory Licensing for Patent Implementation in a statement on 1 May 2012. The country is saying that it intends to become a generics producer for the domestic and possibly the international market.

Generics sustainability to be investigated by UK DoH and industry

The British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA) and the UK Department of Health (DoH) have agreed to work together to investigate potential challenges to the sustainability of the generics industry in the UK.

Clopidogrel goes off-patent: last of the old-style blockbusters

The blockbuster drug Plavix (clopidogrel), used to prevent clotting in some heart patients, comes off patent in the US on 17 May 2012, bringing to an end the run of spectacularly well-selling traditional medicines.

Also noted on generics: 11 May 2012

Out-of-pocket expenses decline in US
Patients with insurance spent US$1.8 billion less on out-of-pocket expenses for medicines in 2011 compared to 2010. In 2011 patient’s out-of-pocket expenses totalled US$49 billion compared to US$50.8 billion in 2010.

The average co-payment also declined, especially for seniors participating in the Medicare Part D program. The average co-payment for unbranded generics was US$5.63 and US$10.34 for Medicare Part D and other insured patients respectively. This compares to brand-name medicine prices of US$37.61 and US$40.35 respectively. In fact, in 2011, more than 75% of medicines carried a co-payment of US$10 or less.

Source: IMS Institute