First posted: 16/03/2012

First posted: 16 March 2012 

The Portuguese 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 2008 was only 16%, representing 18% in value [1]. Therefore, the generics presence in Portugal could be improved, and the following are some ideas that could help to increase the generics market share in Portugal:


  • Generics promotion policies should be refined in order to reduce generics prices [2].
  • Remove regulations imposing a minimum price difference between originator and generic medicines [3].
  • Set the reference price at the level of the average price of generic medicines in the reference group [3].
  • Expand INN prescribing through projects promoting medicines databases and computerised prescribing [3].
  • Eliminate the pharmacist disincentive to dispense generic medicines [3].
  • Mechanisms for better enforcement of the rules, such as sanctions or financial incentives, should be considered to encourage generics substitution [2].
  • Policy makers should aim to decrease co-payments for generic medicines [2].

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


1.  Associação Portuguesa de Medicamentos Genéricos (Apogen). [Market] Mercado [monograph on the Internet]. Oeiras, Portugal, Apogen [cited 2012 Feb 24]. Portuguese. Available from: www.apogen.pt/conteudos/SystemPages/page.asp?art_id=50

2.  Österreichisches Bundesinstitut für Gesundheitswesen (ÖBIG). Access to essential medicines in Portugal. 2009.

3.  Simoens S, De Coster S. Sustaining generic medicines markets in Europe. 2006 Apr. [monograph on the Internet]. Brussels, Belgium, European Generic medicines Association (EGA) [cited 2012 Feb 24]. 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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