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France outlines plans to promote generics Posted 10/04/2015

The French are in general mistrusting of generics with many choosing to stay with brand-name drugs. However, in 2012, in order to combat rising healthcare costs, the French Government introduced measures to increase generic drug use in the country [1]. Now the government has gone a step further and is introducing a national action plan to encourage the use of generics in the country.

France’s ‘national action plan to promote generic drugs’ was presented to public health actors, representatives of patients, hospital associations and conferences, trade unions, academies, colleges, professional bodies and teachers on 24 March 2015 by the French Ministry of Health.

This plan aims to promote the prescription and use of generics in France’s cities, hospitals and residential facilities for the elderly. According to the European Generic medicines Association (EGA), ‘this plan is essential to generate higher generics growth as it currently only accounts for 32% of the reimbursement market in France – a level far below many of France’s European partners’.

The plan will introduce national goals for the promotion of generics and aims to remove any remaining obstacles to the use of generics in France. A national advertising campaign for the general public and health professionals will be launched at the end of 2015 to build confidence in generics.

France was a relatively late entrant to the generics market compared to Germany and the UK. In 2008, generics accounted for 21.7% of the pharmaceutical market in terms of volume, which increased to 30.2% in 2013. This latest initiative, along with rules which mean that patients can no longer refuse generics offered by pharmacists unless they are willing to pay for the alternative and cuts the country has imposed on generics and brand-name medicines, are hoped will increase the use of generics [2].

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References
1.   GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Generics gaining ground in French pharmaceutical market [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2015 Apr 10]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Reports/Generics-gaining-ground-in-French-pharmaceutical-market 
2.   GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. French Government pushing generics [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2015 Apr 10]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Generics/General/French-Government-pushing-generics

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Source: EGA, French Ministry of Health

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