Generic medicines stimulate innovation, both within the generic sector and the discovery and development of new medicines. With drug budgets under scrutiny, generic medicines can help control costs whilst still allowing headroom for additional expenditure required for new medicines, addressing unmet clinical needs.
Generic medicines represent many of the therapies required for the treatment of diseases in an ageing population and as such provide a safe, effective and affordable solution. Growth in the generics sector should be seen as a positive step and as essential component of cost containment. Any existing negative incentives should be removed without delay if the full benefit of generic medicines is to be realized.
Positive measures aimed at increasing usage of generics can provide a far more sustainable solution to cost containment rather than the arbitrary lowering of prices of generic medicines which may only result in marginal savings and could act as a disincentive for increased usage. Sustainable policies for pricing and reimbursement are essential if generic medicines are to be an effective resource in controlling long term costs. Without generic medicines, the cost of healthcare would surely be unaffordable.
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