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Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3(3), 471-481; doi:10.3390/ph3030471

Generic Medicine Pricing Policies in Europe: Current Status and Impact

*  and
Research Centre for Pharmaceutical Care and Pharmaco-economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, O&N 2 P.O. Box 521, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 December 2009 / Revised: 11 February 2010 / Accepted: 3 March 2010 / Published: 5 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Generic Drugs)
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Generic medicine pricing is an area of national responsibility of European Union countries. This article aims to present the current status and impact of generic medicine pricing policies in ambulatory care in Europe. The study conducts a literature review of policies relating to free-pricing systems, price-regulated systems, price differentiation, price competition and discounts, and tendering procedures; and a survey of European generic medicine pricing policies. Competition from Indian generic medicine manufacturers, European variation in generic medicine prices and competition between generic medicine manufacturers by discount suggest that the potential savings to health care payers and patients from generic medicines are not fully realized in Europe. One way of attaining these savings may be to move away from competition by discount to competition by price. Free-pricing systems may drive medicine prices downwards under specific conditions. In price-regulated systems, regulation may lower prices of originator and generic medicines, but may also remove incentives for additional price reductions beyond those imposed by regulation. To date, little is known about the current status and impact of tendering procedures for medicines in ambulatory care. In conclusion, the European experience suggests that there is not a single approach towards developing generic medicine pricing policies in Europe.
Keywords: pharmaceutical policy; generic medicines; pricing; Europe pharmaceutical policy; generic medicines; pricing; Europe
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Dylst, P.; Simoens, S. Generic Medicine Pricing Policies in Europe: Current Status and Impact. Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3, 471-481.

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