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Cost savings and use of generics in Europe

Generics provide significant savings for the healthcare systems, as well as increased access to medicines, in the European Union (EU). This is according to a presentation by Mr Victor Lino Mendonça given at the International Generic Pharmaceutical Alliance (IGPA)’s 16th Annual Conference, which was held in Brussels, Belgium, 9-11 December 2013 [1].

FDA’s labelling proposal will increase cost of generics

In November 2013 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a new rule which would allow generics makers to change their labelling in the same way as brand-name manufacturers [1]. However, an analysis by economic consulting firm Matrix Global Advisors (MGA) shows that this change would add US$4 billion to the annual healthcare costs in the US.

Generics save US 1.2 trillion over last 10 years

Generics have saved consumers and the US healthcare system US$217 billion in 2012 and have saved the US in excess of US$1.2 trillion between 2003 and 2012, according to a report by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) [1].

Biosimilars: what physicians need to know

A biosimilar is a medicinal product that is similar to a biological medicinal product that has already been authorized. Biologicals are comprised of proteins, such as hormones (growth hormones, insulins, erythropoietins), enzymes, that are naturally produced in the human body, or monoclonal antibodies. Biologicals are derived through three main sources: yeast cells, bacterial cells and mammalian cells.

Giving EU Member States more freedom could increase early access to new drugs

A UK report urges giving European Union (EU) Member States greater freedoms to determine their own policies with respect to data protection and early access to medical innovations [1].

EU problematic patent settlements remain at low level

The European Commission’s (EC) fourth monitoring exercise of patent settlements in the pharmaceutical sector has shown the number of potentially problematic settlements under EU antitrust rules remain at a low level. This finding comes despite the fact that the overall number of patent settlements has increased compared to the previous monitoring periods. The EC takes this as evidence that companies can successfully settle patent disputes within the boundaries of the European Union (EU) antitrust rules.

Shortage of HIV/AIDS drugs in South Africa

According to a survey of South African clinics, one in five of them are running short of life-saving HIV/AIDS drugs, affecting nearly half a million people and undermining the success of the world’s largest treatment programme.

OECD report finds reduction in spending on health

Spending on health fell in one of three countries covered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) between 2009 and 2011, with the countries hit hardest by the financial crisis witnessing the biggest cuts.

American-made prescription drugs 76% cheaper when purchased abroad

American patients can make significant savings by buying drugs abroad, according to an analysis carried out by online pharmacy information specialist PharmacyChecker.com.

Biosimilars: what patients need to know

Biosimilars are medicines that are similar to a biological medicine that has already been authorized. Biosimilars are different to generics in that they are not identical to their reference product. This is due to the fact that they are derived from living cells and therefore demonstrate molecular complexity and heterogeneity. For this reason biosimilars must be ‘similar but not identical’ to their reference biological with regards to quality, safety, and efficacy.