Study of the use of generic and biosimilar drugs in Latin America

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The results of a study on the knowledge, perceptions and use of generic and biosimilar drugs in Latin America and the Caribbean were recently presented at an event organized by the World Bank during the workshop ‘Rethinking Pharmaceutical Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean’ held in Washington DC, USA.

Latin America V13J25

In this review, conducted by Professor Aguilera, a panoramic review of articles that have investigated the topic of knowledge, perceptions and use of generics and biosimilars in Latin America and the Caribbean was presented. To do this, 668 articles were examined, of which 22 met the inclusion criteria to be part of the review. Of these, 17 correspond to studies on generic drugs and only five to studies on biosimilar products. The majority of studies on generic drugs come from Brazil, while studies on biosimilar products are more limited. 

The preliminary results of the review found that the vast majority of patients and the general population have good knowledge and a positive opinion of generic drugs, while doctors have greater concerns about their safety and efficacy. As for biosimilar products, less knowledge and use were observed among patients and doctors. In all the groups studied, it was observed that the economic factor, specifically the price, is crucial when deciding whether to prescribe or acquire generic or biosimilar drugs. There are relatively few studies in the region, and none of them were conducted in Chile.

One of the conclusions of this review is that more empirical research is needed on the topic, especially regarding biosimilars, as the use of biological drugs will continue to increase over time and have a high cost.

Professor Aguilera emphasizes that health policies targeting the enhancement of generics and biosimilars’ perception and usage must be complemented by a regulatory and institutional framework that instills trust in the healthcare professionals and the general public regarding the products' safety and efficacy compared to the reference products. Furthermore, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the levels of knowledge, perception, and usage of alternative pharmaceutical products to facilitate the development and monitoring of health policies that promote their usage.

Another review conducted in 2020 of the biosimilars market in Latin America revealed that Argentina, Brazil and Mexico have the highest number of similar biopharmaceutical products approved, while information in other countries is more limited [1]. 

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The new section of the ‘Latin American Forum’ on GaBI has been launched. The objective of this new section is to provide you with all the latest news and updates on developments of generic and biosimilar medicines in Latin America in Spanish.

View the latest headline article: Una actualización sobre la declaración conjunta EMA-HMA sobre la intercambiabilidad de biosimilares

Browse the news in the Latin American Forum!

Register to receive the GaBI Latin American Forum newsletter. Inform colleagues and friends of this new initiative.

Se ha lanzado la nueva sección del ‘Foro Latinoamericano’ sobre GaBI. El objetivo de esta nueva sección es brindarle las últimas noticias y actualizaciones sobre desarrollos de medicamentos genéricos y biosimilares en América Latina en español.

Ver el último artículo de cabecera: Una actualización sobre la declaración conjunta EMA-HMA sobre la intercambiabilidad de biosimilares

!Explore las noticias en el Foro Latinoamericano!

Regístrese para recibir el boletín informativo GaBI Foro Latinoamericano. Informe a colegas y amigos sobre esta nueva iniciativa. 


1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. The biosimilar market in Latin America: a summary []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2023 May 12]. Available from:

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Source: Universidad San Sebastián

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