First posted: 14/10/2011

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

In Spain, 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 24%, representing 9.4% in value [2]. Therefore, the generics presence in Spain could be improved, and the following are some ideas that could help to increase the generics market share in Spain:



  • Prescribing by international non-proprietary name (INN) should be compulsory and pharmacists should dispense the cheapest medicine [1].
  • Teach students at medical school to prescribe by INN.
  • Remove the financial disincentive for pharmacists to dispense generic medicines [1].
  • Decrease the co-payment for generics to encourage patients to demand generic medicines.

*In countries with developing generic medicines markets, market share of generic medicines does not normally 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 2011 October 14]. Available from: www.egagenerics.com/doc/simoens-report_2006-04.pdf


2. Ministerio de Sanidad Politica Social e Igualdad [Ministry of Health Social Policy and Equality]. Consumo de genéricos en España [Spanish] [Consumption of Generic Drugs in Spain] [page on the Internet]. Madrid, Spain [cited 2011 October 14]. Available from: www.medicamentosgenericosefg.es/consumo-genericos-espana.html


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

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