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A priority for healthcare in Spain is an increased access to generic and biosimilar medicines

19 November 2015

The European Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (EGA), a member of which is the Bulgarian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (BGPharmA),and the Spanish Generic Medicines Association (AESEG) announced at a meeting in Madrid their engagement to increase Spanish patients' access to generic and biosimilar medicines, highlighting the importance of introducing measures that will increase access to high quality medicines and remove market barriers. Price differentiation between originator and generic medicines, the negative consequences of the procurement system in Andalusia and the SPC (Supplementary Protection Certificate) manufacturing waiver, which would create thousands of jobs for the Spanish pharmaceutical industry, were among the topics discussed. Spain is the only EU country to maintain a price policy directed against the long-term ability of the generic medicines industry to increase patient’ access and provide savings to Spanish payers, as it removes all incentives for physicians to prescribe, pharmacists to dispense or patients to ask for a generic medicine. The EGA and AESEG also underlined the medicine supply consequences (e.g. shortages and delayed entrance) for patients and pharmacists of the procurement system in Andalusia, which also threatens the viability of European and Spanish manufacturers and reduces the ability to develop and bring new generic medicines to market. The EGA foresees that 75% to 80% of medicines in the EU will be generic or biosimilar medicines by 2020, therefore it makes sense to increase the production in Europe as opposed to non-EU countries.The European Commission has just proposed to work onan SPC manufacturing waiver that would allow production and export of generic and biosimilar medicines during the SPC period, stimulating medicines manufacturing, creating high skilled jobs and economic growth in those countries where generic and biosimilar medicines production is particularly relevant, such as Spain. Jacek Glinka, EGA President commented that “Our industry is ready to work with the Spanish authorities to develop a healthy generic and biosimilars business environment in Spain, removing market barriers and increasing the cost-effectiveness of therapies, thereby enabling physicians to treat more patients with high quality medicines.” Angel Luis Rodriguez de la Cuerda, AESEG Director General, highlighted that “7 out of 10 generic medicines in Spain are manufactured in Spain. Healthy generic competition in the Spanish market will provide additional value and jobs in Spain. Therefore, the European Commission proposal for an SPC manufacturing waiver is also essential to create more manufacturing and job opportunities in Spain. We call on the Spanish Government to support this job creating measure in the EU”.