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Irish doctors’ attitudes towards generics

In June 2013, Ireland signed a new Act into law [the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013] paving the way for generics substitution and reference pricing for the first time in that market. As a consequence of the new legislation, Irish patients became more likely than ever to encounter generics.

Patient perceptions of generics in Ireland

In an attempt to benefit from the cost savings associated with use of generics, in June 2013 the Irish Government introduced generics substitution and reference pricing for the first time via the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act. However, as perceptions of Irish patients towards generics have not been published previously, the objective of this study was to assess how generics were perceived amongst patients in the Irish health system [1].

Canada’s generics are too expensive

The same generics cost more in Canada than they do in similarly developed countries. In response to this, the premiers of each Canadian province recently agreed to lower the price of six expensive generics (amlodipine, atorvastatin, omeprazole, rabeprazole, ramipril and venlafaxine), setting reimbursement prices at 18% of the originator’s price. But this will still leave Canada out of line with other countries, including New Zealand, the UK and the US, say researchers at the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Irish pharmacists’ perceptions and attitudes towards generics

In June 2013, new legislation came into effect in Ireland - the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 - that introduced generics substitution and reference pricing for the first time in this market [1]. As a result of this new legislation, Irish patients have a greater likelihood of receiving a generic medicine in place of a brand-name prescription medication. As healthcare professionals’ perceptions of generics are likely to have an impact on the successful implementation of the objectives of this legislation, the aim of this study was to assess pharmacists’ opinions of, and attitudes towards, generics in Ireland [2].

Generics losing out to brand-name drugs in Croatia

A combination of weak national guidelines and powerful marketing by the pharmaceutical industry has led to a rise in brand-name over generics prescriptions for psychopharmaceuticals in Croatia.

Changes to pharmaceutical policy during an economic recession

The use of antipsychotic medicines across Finland and Portugal following the recent economic recession have been analysed in order to gauge the impact of contrasting pharmaceutical policy interventions put in place over that time.

Reference pricing and generics in Finland

Reference pricing and the extension of generics substitution have produced substantial savings in antipsychotic medication costs in Finland. The daily cost of treatment with clozapine, risperidone, olanzapine or quetiapine was cut by at least a third in just one year following the adoption of reference pricing for these drugs.

Generics in Taiwan: urban–rural disparity

A study of the urban–rural disparity of prescribing generic versus brand-name drugs in Taiwan has found that the generics prescribing ratio of the most popular anti-hypertensive (high blood pressure) medicines is reversely associated with the level of urbanization [1].

European initiatives to enhance losartan utilization post generics: impact and implications

Health authorities have the opportunity to realize considerable savings from generics. A wide variety of strategies were instigated across Europe to encourage prescribing of losartan once generics became available with all angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) – which are used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure – seen as essentially similar at appropriate doses [1, 2]. These ranged from 100% co-payment for single-sourced ARBs in Denmark to removing prescribing restrictions for losartan but not for single-sourced ARBs (Austria and Belgium), to prescribing targets and therapeutic switching programmes in Sweden [3]. However, some authorities instigated no specific measures, e.g. Ireland, Scotland and Spain (Catalonia) [3, 4], providing an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of different measures.

The ethics of generic immunosuppressive drugs

A literature review of generic immunosuppressive drugs (ISDs) in renal transplant patients concludes that it is ethical to prescribe generic ISDs provided regulatory safeguards are met. Alongside these safeguards, it will be essential to educate patients and to carry out further clinical and health economic studies to inform clinicians, patients and society of the risks and costs of drug substitution [1].