First posted: 26/04/2012

First posted: 26 April 2012 

The Austrian generics market is poorly developed* and is one of the smaller markets in Europe by both volume and value.

The share of generic medicines in Austria has been rather low for a long time [1]. The market share of generic medicines by volume in 2008 was only 30%, representing 19.5% in value [2]. Therefore, the generics presence in Austria could be improved, and the following are some ideas that could help to increase the generic market share in Austria:


  • Introduce policy to stimulate demand for generic medicines [3].
  • Reconstruct pricing system to allow market forces to determine the price differences between originator and generic medicines [3].
  • Teach medical students to prescribe by international non-proprietary name (INN).
  • Introduce prescribing by INN with electronic prescribing systems, incentive schemes, prescribing guidelines and formularies.
  • Allow generics substitution by pharmacists and remove financial disincentives for them to dispense generic medicines [3].
  • Introduce incentives, such as reduced co-payment for generic medicines, to encourage patients to demand generic medicines.
  • Sickness funds should enable reimbursement of generics alternatives and not only the medicine prescribed by the physician.

*In countries with developing generic medicines markets, market share of generic medicines does not surpass 40% [4].


1.  Österreichisches Bundesinstitut für Gesundheitswesen (ÖBIG). Surveying, Assessing and Analysing the Pharmaceutical Sector in the 25 EU Member States. July 2006.

2.  Association of the Austrian Pharmaceutical Industry (Pharmig). Medicinal products and health care in Austria: Facts 2008/Edition 2010.

3.  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 2012 Apr 13]. Available from: www.egagenerics.com/doc/simoens-report_2006-04.pdf

4.  Simoens S. International comparison of generic medicine prices. Curr Med Res Opin. 2007;23(11):2647-54.

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