Societal value of generic medicines beyond cost-saving through reduced prices

P Dylst, Arnold Vulto, S Simoens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This paper aims to provide an overview of the added societal value of generic medicines beyond their cost-saving potential through reduced prices. In addition, an observational case study will document the impact of generic entry on access to pharmacotherapy in The Netherlands and an illustrative exercise was carried out to highlight the budget impact of generic entry. Methods: A narrative literature review was carried out to explore the impact of generic medicines on access to pharmacotherapy, innovation and medication adherence. Data from the Medicines and Medical Devices Information Project database in The Netherlands were used for the case study in which the impact of generic medicine entrance on the budget and the number of users was calculated as an illustrative exercise. Results: Generic medicines have an additional societal value beyond their cost-saving potential through reduced prices. Generic medicines increase access to pharmacotherapy, provide a stimulus for innovation by both originator companies and generic companies and, under the right circumstances, have a positive impact on medication adherence. Conclusion: Generic medicines offer more to society than just their cost-saving potential through reduced prices. As such, governments must not focus only on the prices of generic medicines as this will threaten their long-term sustainability. Governments must therefore act appropriately and implement a coherent set of policies to increase the use of generic medicines.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)701-711
Number of pages11
JournalFuture Drugs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Research programs

  • EMC OR-01-34-01

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