First posted: 24/08/2012

First posted: 24 August 2012 

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

The market share of generic medicines by volume in 2009 was only 23.7%, representing 10.9% in value [1]. Therefore, the generics presence in France could be improved, and the following are some ideas that could help to increase the generics market share in France:


  • Strengthen price competition by abolishing minimum price differences between originator and generic medicines and by reducing the level of discounts that companies award pharmacists [2].
  • Reduce the delays in marketing authorisation and patient access to generic medicines [3].
  • Teach students at medical school to prescribe by international non-proprietary name (INN).
  • Physician acceptance of generic medicines needs to be strengthened [2].
  • Expand INN prescribing through projects promoting medicines databases, computerised prescribing and physician budgets.
  • Government and health insurance initiatives educating patients about generic medicines need to be expanded [2].
  • Give patients financial incentives for using generics [4].

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


1.  Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé, AFSSAPS (French Medicines Agency). Les ventes de medicaments aux officines et aux hôpitaux en France: chiffres-clés 2009]. [Sales of drugs to pharmacists and hospitals in France: key figures 2009]. 6th ed. 2010 Oct. French.

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 2012 Jun 10]. Available from: www.egagenerics.com/doc/simoens-report_2006-04.pdf

3.  Bongers F, Carradinha H. European Generic medicines Association (EGA) Health Economics Committee. How to increase patient access to generic medicines in European healthcare systems. 2009 Jun.

4.  Grooten E. How did the new generic provisions impact generic substitution? Drug Information Association (DIA) 20th Annual EuroMeeting. Barcelona, Spain. 2008.

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

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