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Are generic medicines in Europe too expensive?

by Professor Steven Simoens, Research Centre for Pharmaceutical Care and Pharmaco-economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Teva CEO about opportunities in generics and biosimilars

To retain its position in the long run, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. aims at significant growth in the generic market in the years to come, says Teva CEO Mr Shlomo Yanai in an interview by Mr Haim Watzman published in Nature Medicine in March 2010.

Indian firms seek a higher profile in biosimilars

As reported by Anju Ghangurde in Scrip News of 13 January 2010, large Indian companies appear to be keen to develop their capacities and capabilities in the biosimilars segment, an area expected to take centre stage globally in the coming years. Some of this growing interest is being attributed to the projected decline in the global pipeline for generic small molecules by about 2013, as well as optimism that some large markets such as the US will soon put in place regulations to facilitate the entry of biosimilars.

Physicians still have concerns about the quality, reliability and interchangeability of certain generic medicines

In a study by Dr Mohamed Azmi Hassali et al. of the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), as published in the January 2010 Journal of Generic Medicines issue (published online 1 September 2009), physicians’ views on generic medicines are reviewed.

Opportunities and challenges to implementing the Quality by Design approach in generic drug development

In an article by Dr Ramaji Varu of Biocon, Bangalore, India, and Dr Amit Khanna of Novartis, Hyderabad, India, published in the January 2010 Journal of Generic Medicines issue (published online 17 November 2009) the opportunities and challenges to implementing the Quality by Design (QbD) approach in generic drug development are discussed.

European patients trust generic medicines

In total 2,800 patients participated in the European Health study by InSites Consulting. Seven out of ten participants indicated the ability to differentiate generic medicines from brand medicines. While generic medicines contain the same active ingredients as patented brands, we still discovered that 44% of patients who claim to be familiar with generic medicines do not believe this. However this does not detract from the effectiveness patients ascribe to ‘white products’. Eighty three per cent believe that generic medicines are equally effective as the original formula.

Switching statins in Norway after new reimbursement policy

Norwegian scientists assessed the changes in statins prescribing in Norway after implementation of the new reimbursement regulations for statins in June 2005, as published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology of October 2007 by Ms Solveig Sakshaug of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo.

Possible economic benefits from generic and therapeutic statin substitution

The group of Associate Professor O Klungel of Utrecht University, The Netherlands, assessed the potential annual savings due to generic and therapeutic substitution of statin therapy for the general Dutch population, taking the patients’ medical histories into account. Pearl Gumbs and colleagues published the study in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in November 2007.

Brand-name drugs are not more effective than generic versions for treating cardiovascular disease

A recent review in Evidence-Based Medicine by Dr Braden Manns of the University of Calgary in Canada studies the question whether generic drugs are as effective as brand-name drugs for treating cardiovascular disease.

Big pharmaceutical firms start to embrace generics

President Barack Obama recently posed an existential question to those around him. “If there’s a blue pill and a red pill, and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well, why not pay half the price for the thing that’s going to make you well?” Thus he captured one of two powerful global trends forcing pharmaceutical giants to look for a new business model.

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