oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - New Generics in 2009 : review



New medicines are launched, and for several years are protected by patent laws. Once the patent has expired, any pharmaceutical manufacturer may develop, register and sell a copy or 'generic' of the product. The generic medicine is manufactured without incurring the expenses of clinical research and development of the original product. Generic companies are required only to demonstrate that their product has the same bioavailability as the original product and is therefore 'bioequivalent'. Once a generic medicine is registered, the usually lower price may drive down the price of similar products. The availability of generic products, therefore, should allow for more cost-effective management of disease conditions.

A number of generic medicines were launched in 2009, some of which were the first generics for the original product. The South African Medicines Control Council policy on generic substitution requires the pharmacist to inform the patient of the availability of a generic alternative and where the originator product has been prescribed, pharmacists should discuss the availability of these generics with their patients. Pharmacists, in turn, need to keep up to date with generic product launches to the market. This article discusses the first- or second-generic product launches in South Africa in 2009. Prices used as those from Mims November / December 2009 and are single exit price inclusive of VAT.


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