First posted: 25/05/2012

First posted: 25 May 2012 

The Italian pharmaceutical market is poorly developed* in the use of generic medicines.

In Italy, the limited volume of generic medicines consumption in combination with low medicine prices has undermined the economic viability of the generic medicines market [1].

The market share of generic medicines by volume in 2010 was only 11.7%, representing 5.8% in value [2]. Therefore, the generics presence in Italy could be improved, and the following are some ideas that could help to increase the generics market share in Italy.


  • To kick start the generics market, set the reference price at a higher level, such as that of the most expensive generic medicine, and then once the market matures, lower to the average price of generic medicines in the reference group [1].
  • Teach students at medical school to prescribe by international non-propietary name (INN).
  • Stop physicians prohibiting generics substitution without a valid medical reason.
  • Eliminate the pharmacist incentive to dispense originator medicines, and boost physician prescribing of generics through policy [1].
  • Increase trust by patients in generic medicines through information campaigns.

*In countries with developing generic medicines markets, market share of generic medicines does not surpass 40% [3].


1.  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 May 11]. Available from: www.egagenerics.com/doc/simoens-report_2006-04.pdf

2.  Assogenerici. Il Farmaco Generico: Numeri e Dimensioni  Agoiornamento Giugno 2010 [The Generic Drug: Numbers and Dimensions  June 2010] [page on the Internet]. Italy, Assogenerica [cited 2012 May 11]. Italian. Available from: www.assogenerici.org/articolihome/cs/AGGIORNAMENTO_DATI_ANNO_1°_SEMESTRE_2010.pdf

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

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