THE SO-CALLED generic or non designer drugs are poised to dominate the Portuguese pharmaceutical market within a decade.
It means that both doctors and the public will have a wider choice of medicines at competitive prices saving the state health service millions of euros each year.
Carlos Gouveia Pinto, Economic Health Investigator at Lisbon’s Higher Institute for Economics and Management (ISEG), said, “the number of medicines protected by long patents is becoming less and less each year while the time limit on other medicines protected by patents is running out.”
“This in turn opens up the market to generic drugs which are cheaper to produce and sell and these savings are passed on to the public,” he added.
“I am convinced that within the next ten years we will see most drugs that are on the market now being produced by more than one company creating greater competition and fewer monopolies,” he said.
However, new drugs developed by large pharmaceutical giants will still be protected by international and EU patents for a limited period since these patents are necessary to protect the industry and enable it to recoup its initial research investment. CG