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Perception and knowledge of generics in Portugal

Patients in Portugal are misinformed about generics, according to researchers from the Bragança Polytechnic Institute [1].

Measures to increase generics use in Greece

Austerity has forced Greece to introduce a number of measures to reduce the amount it spends on healthcare. But how have measures aimed at increasing generics use in the country been perceived by stakeholders? This was a question Karampali and co-authors from the National School of Public Health, Athens, Greece tried to answer [1].

Consumer choice between generic and brand-name medicines in a small generics market

Generics offer an opportunity to governments to contain pharmaceutical expenditures, as they are generally 10‒80% lower in price than the originator brand-name medicines. Belgium has a small generics market, which takes up 15% of the total pharmaceutical market (in packages sold).

Pharmacists’ attitudes towards domestic generics in Afghanistan

The aim of the study by Hassali et al. was to survey community pharmacists regarding their attitudes about the quality and price of locally manufactured medicines [1].

Paediatric use of low-cost generic programs in the US

Low-cost generic drug programs (LCGPs) in the US increase the affordability of prescription medication that can treat many common paediatric conditions. LCGPs are a loss-leader pricing strategy used by eight of the top 10 pharmacy chains, e.g. Walmart, Walgreens, RiteAid, providing generics at co-payments of US$4‒5 for 30-day supplies or US$10‒12 for 90-day supplies. By using these programmes, no information is submitted through an individual’s prescription medication insurance benefit; thus, medication use data can be missing from administrative claims data. This phenomenon has implications for safety surveillance, quality measurement of health plans, and for researchers utilizing these data.

Physicians’ and pharmacists’ perspectives on generics use

The review study of Toverud et al. shows that both physicians and pharmacists have acknowledged strategies for generics use as an attempt to curtail increasing drug expenditures [1]. However, in Northern Europe and in the US health professionals were confident about the generics available, whereas in countries with less mature healthcare systems there were concerns about the manufacturing sources of generics and the companies’ trustworthiness. A general marked variation was also found regarding control routines and bioequivalence requirements between countries with mature healthcare systems and those with developing ones.

Use of generics in cardiovascular diseases

Researchers from Italy and the US carried out a meta-analysis with the aim of comparing the efficacy and adverse events, either serious or mild/moderate, of all generic versus brand-name cardiovascular medicines [1].

Doctors in the US should remember to prescribe generics

According to the findings of a literature review carried out by the American College of Physicians (ACP) the major obstacle to increased use of generics in the US is patient and provider perceptions.

Pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement policies

A recurrent challenge in health policy is to ensure equitable access to safe and effective medicines. In recent years, access to medicines, in particular to high-cost medicines, has become a major challenge for payers in all countries including high-income economies. Factors that challenge the financial sustainability of publicly funded health and pharmaceutical systems include demographic and epidemiological developments, a tightening of public health budgets due to overall economic pressures, e.g. the global financial crisis, and the need of public payers to consider covering new medicines, some of which come with premium prices [1].

Prescribing and dispensing generics in Japan

Drug costs in Japan have been found to be much greater than the average of industrialized nations, which means that too many wasteful prescriptions are written for pharmaceuticals. This has been attributed to attempts by medical institutions to increase revenues by prescribing unnecessary medicines to patients. To curb this trend, the government has pushed forward with the lowering of government-set prices for prescription drugs and the separation of medical and dispensary services in its national health programme, which was implemented in 1974.

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