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Recommendations for developing generic medicines markets Posted 28/04/2010

The Sustaining Generic Medicines Markets in Europe report (April 2006), produced by the Research Centre for Pharmaceutical Care and Pharmaco-economics and authored by Professor Steven Simoens and Ms Sandra De Coster, offers a country-by-country analysis of generics markets in Europe and discusses factors both hindering and aiding the development of generics markets.

In the report, countries are grouped according to the status of their generics market, as being either developing or mature. Countries that were classified as having a developing generics market all had a generics market share of less than 20% at the time of study.

Country-specific recommendations to aid the development of developing generic medicines markets are presented below.

Austria – Introduce policy to stimulate demand for generic medicines. Reconstruct pricing system to allow market forces to determine the price differences between originator and generic medicines. Allow generic substitution by pharmacists and remove financial disincentives for them to dispense generic medicines.

Belgium – Minimum price differences between originator and generic medicines should be abolished. Reference pricing should be adjusted to contribute to price competition among companies. Physician incentives to prescribe generics need to be enhanced, and prescription by INN needs to be strengthened.

France – Strengthen price competition by abolishing minimum price differences between originator and generic medicines and by reducing the level of discounts companies award pharmacists. Physician acceptance of generic medicines needs to be strengthened. Government and health insurance initiatives educating patients about generic medicines need to be expanded.

Italy – To kick start the generics market, set the reference price at a higher level, such as that of the most expensive generic medicine, and then once the market matures, lower to the average price of generic medicines in the reference group. Eliminate the pharmacist incentive to dispense originator medicines, and boost physician prescribing of generics through policy.

Portugal – Remove regulations imposing a minimum price difference between originator and generic medicines. Set the reference price at the level of the average price of generic medicines in the reference group. Expand INN prescribing through projects promoting medicines databases and computerised prescribing. Eliminate the pharmacist disincentive to dispense generic medicines.

Spain – Prescribing by INN should be compulsory and pharmacists should dispense the cheapest medicine. Remove the financial disincentive for pharmacists to dispense generic medicines.

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Reference

Simoens S, De Coster S. Sustaining Generic Medicines Markets in Europe. April 2006.

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