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Generics and brand-name drugs compared

What differentiates generics from brand-name medications? That is a question that Andrea Bakker from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ottawa tried to answer [1]. In her commentary she explored how differences in licensing affect drug efficacy and how the pharmaceutical landscape in Canada affects patient care.

Switching stable kidney transplant patients to generic tacrolimus safe

Researchers from Chile have found that switching stable kidney transplant patients to generic tacrolimus is safe. However, they caution the transplant community to carefully monitor any switch to generics [1].

Patent and regulatory exclusivities driving generic and follow-on market availability

Daniel Nam reviews the differences between intellectual property exclusivity (patents) and regulatory exclusivities (market exclusivity) in the US [1]. A patent is a grant of property right to an inventor for 20 years from the date of application. Market exclusivity is awarded to manufacturers of first-to-market brand products and excludes other manufacturers from marketing the drug product for a certain period of time, depending on the type of product. Nam explains that these tools are used by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to achieve a balance between innovation and equitable access to medications.

Addressing patient misconceptions about generics

In the face of increasing drug costs, substitution by generics is often used as a strategy by healthcare systems to rein in expenditure. However, patient misconceptions about generics can hinder such substitutions. Researchers Sanchez and Zurek discuss how pharmacists can improve this situation by educating patients on the use and safety of generics [1].

Policies to address price rises in old generics

Old, off-patent drugs are becoming increasingly expensive. But how can policymakers address the problem? Naren P Tallapragada from the Harvard Medical School discusses the underlying causes of the high-cost off-patent drug problem and proposes some policy solutions that could address the problem [1].

Therapeutic substitution could save Americans US$73 billion

Therapeutic substitution could save the America healthcare system US$73 billion and patients US$24.6 billion in out-of-pocket expenses, according to US researchers [1].

Transparency in the Australian pharmaceutical industry

In Australia, the promotion of medicines to healthcare professionals is controlled by self-regulatory schemes operated by the pharmaceutical industry.

Factors affecting generics entry

Edward Kong, Research Assistant at the Yale University, Department of Economics, carried out a study into the factors that influence a generics maker’s decision to enter a specific market [1].

Competition in the generics industry

In theory, an increase in the use of generics should help to reduce overall drug expenditures. However, growth in spending on medicines in the US increased by US$46.2 billion, or 12.2%, over 2014 levels, reaching US$425 billion in 2015 [1]. This increase comes despite a simultaneous growth in spending on generics, which increased by US$7.9 billion (7.4%) to US$114.1 billion in 2015.

Generic antibiotics could be contributing to bacterial resistance

Therapeutic non-equivalence of generic antibiotics could be contributing to the global problem of bacterial resistance, according to researchers from the Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia.

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