First posted: 25/05/2011
The UK is already a mature (well-established) market* in the use of generic medicines.
The market share of generic medicines by volume in 2008 was more than 82%, representing 26% in value . However, generic presence could still be improved, and the following are some ideas that could help to increase the generic market share in the UK:
- Strengthen prescribing by international non-proprietary name (INN) with electronic prescribing systems, incentive schemes within PCTs, prescribing guidelines and formularies .
- Increase generic substitution by pharmacists by allowing substitution for all prescriptions (including those not written by INN) unless prohibited by the physician.
- Introduce incentives, such as reduced co-payment for generic medicines, to encourage patients to demand generic medicines .
* A mature generic market is one where generics have been on the market for more than 10 years and where the market share of generics exceeds 40% .
1. NHS National Statistics. The Information Centre (Health Care).Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community Statistics for 1998 to 2008: England. 29 July 2009.
2. Simoens S, De Coster S. Sustaining Generic Medicines Markets in Europe. April 2006. [monograph on the Internet]. Brussels, Belgium, European Generic Medicines Association (EGA) [cited 2011 May 13]. Available from: www.egagenerics.com/doc/simoens-report_2006-04.pdf