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Translational research to uncover new uses for generics

On the surface, generic compounds and translational medicines could not appear more different. However, in April 2011, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) met with academic, governmental, and industry R & D experts to discuss whether translational methods could help to rescue and re-position certain generics [1].

Generics saved US$931 billion over last 10 years

On 21 September 2011, the US Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) released the results of an independent analysis showing that the use of generic drugs in the US has saved patients and the healthcare system US$931 billion between 2001 and 2010.

Generic atorvastatin may be better than Crestor

AstraZeneca’s leading cholesterol drug Crestor (rosuvastatin) failed to show a statistically significant benefit over Pfizer’s Lipitor (atorvastatin), according to results of a phase IIIb trial. The results could prove to be good news for generics manufacturers, boosting sales of generic atorvastatin, soon to compete with Crestor.

Tendering for medicines in ambulatory care

Tendering is a mechanism whereby a purchaser buys medicines from the pharmaceutical manufacturer that offers the best bid [1]. Whereas tendering is widely used in the hospital sector, it is only recently being rolled out in ambulatory care in an increasing number of countries with a view to constraining pharmaceutical expenditure. Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands are the countries that have taken up the idea most readily. However, the success of this strategy is not yet clear compared to other European generic medicines pricing policies.

Integrated prescriber dispensing can slow generic growth

Countries such as China, Japan and Taiwan which have public health insurance systems, and which allow physicians to both prescribe and dispense drugs themselves, are the most resistant to generics competition, according to a study by two Taiwanese health economists from the National Cheng-Kung University and Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan [1].

Does switching to generic anti-epileptic drugs lead to loss of seizure control

Patients with epilepsy may have a higher risk of seizures if they switch from their brand-name medication to generic anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). This is the message often heard from clinicians when expressing their concern over generic versions of narrow therapeutic index (NTI) drugs, one class of which is those used to manage the symptoms of epilepsy.

Switching from a brand-name antiepileptic drug to a generic is not associated with a higher risk of seizures

A report in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics provides further evidence that patients with epilepsy do not have a higher risk of seizures if they switch from their brand-name anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) to the generic version [1].

How successful is the reference pricing system in Belgium

The main aim of a reference pricing system (RPS) is to provide generic medicines at the lowest cost to the state and individuals. This article explains how RPSs work and asks how the Belgian system might be improved to better fulfil its main objective.

Benefits of generics called into question

The benefits associated with generic prescription drugs have been called into question in an article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) [1].

Epilepsy: medical concerns of prescribing generics

Generic economics

Generic medications are generally cheaper than their branded product counterparts and so prescribing these is encouraged as a cost-containment strategy in the management of healthcare resources. Encouraging the use of generic drugs is widely considered to be the most simple and effective way of reducing medication expenditure.