Irish Medical Organisation

Submission to the DOHC on a Generic Medicines Policy - Jan 2010

The IMO believe that substantial savings on the State’s drugs bill can be made by introducing a range of measures that increase the use of generic medicines. Countries that have the highest generic medicines volume market share are countries which have implemented a coherent generic medicines policy. A range of measures are needed both on the supply side - to encourage generic manufacturers to enter the market - as well as demand side measures -that encourage all parties including patients, doctors, payers and not just pharmacists to promote the use of generics. Specific recommendations included:

  • Reduce the cost of generic medicines by ending pricing agreements for off-patent and generic pharmaceuticals and promoting managed competition;
  • establish a system of pharmaceutical reference pricing for off-patent and generic medicines;
  • introduce a public awareness campaign to inform the public of the advantages of generic medicines and alleviate any concerns;
  • consider the introduction of mandatory generic prescribing across the whole of the health system, with allowances for physicians to prescribe branded products only when concerned about individual patient safety;
  • establish a multi party working group to co-ordinate the achievement of economies through generic prescribing and other measures;
  • Support optimum levels of generic prescribing through the provision of prescription software systems, prescription data analysis and professional prescribing advice and support.

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