First posted: 25/05/2011

First posted: 12 August 2011 

Concerning biosimilars approved and marketed in Belgium, view the following related article:

Biosimilars approved and marketed in Belgium

The Belgian generics market is poorly developed* and is among the smallest in Europe by both volume and value.

The market share of generic medicines by volume (prescriptions) in 2008 was only 8.8%, representing around 5% in market value [1]. Therefore, the generic presence in Belgium could be improved, and the following are some ideas that could help to increase the generic market share in Belgium:


  • Minimum price differences between originator and generic medicines should be abolished [2].
  • Reference pricing should be adjusted to contribute to price competition among companies [2].
  • Physician incentives to prescribe generics need to be enhanced, and prescription by international non-proprietary name (INN) needs to be strengthened [2].
  • Teach students at medical school to prescribe by INN.
  • Create appropriate incentives for pharmacists to dispense generic drugs [3].
  • Allow substitution, unless explicitly prohibited by the prescriber, as foreseen by the Belgian legislator in 1993 [4].
  • Increase patient’s awareness of the reference supplement, by providing clear information on the amount and type of supplement paid [4].

* In countries with developing generic medicines markets, market share of generic medicines does not surpass 40% [5].


1. Business Monitor International. FeBelGen Concerned About Downward Price Pressures. 24 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/simeons-report_2006-04.pdf

3. Simoens S, De Bruyn K, Bogaert M, Laekeman G. Pharmaceutical policy regarding generic drugs in Belgium. Pharmacoeconomics. 2005;23(8):755-66.

4. Federaal Kenniscentrum voor de Gezondheidszorg (Belgian Healthcare Knowledge Centre, KCE). The reference price system and socioeconomic differences in the use of low cost drugs. KCE reports 126C. 2010.

5. Simoens S. International comparison of generic medicine prices. Curr Med Res Opinion. 2007;23(11):2647–54.

Related content
Licensing Guidelines and Regulations
Country Focus/Belgium Posted 25/05/2011
Market Analysis
Country Focus/Belgium Posted 25/05/2011
Policies and Legislation
Country Focus/Belgium Posted 25/05/2011
Most viewed articles
About GaBI
Home/About GaBI Posted 06/08/2009
EU guidelines for biosimilars
EMA logo 1 V13C15
Home/Guidelines Posted 08/10/2010