Generics Sales Double in Spain During 2010–12
Despite the economic crisis and as a consequence of governmental austerity measures, generic sales in Spain doubled between 2010 and 2012.
IHS Global Insight Perspective
As a consequence of austerity measures, the sales of generic products in Spain achieved a growth of 12% between 2010 and 2012. In terms of units, the sale of generic drugs doubled, going from 13% in 2010 to 25% in 2012.
Despite the rise in generics sales in the past two years, generic consumption in Spain (25%) is still well below the EU standard, as average generics consumption in the rest of Northern Europe ranks at 50%.
An upcoming partnership between Spanish generics association AESEG and the new government is expected to work on boosting the Spanish generic sector by implementing domestic industry in order to meet the internal needs of the population and market national generic drugs as a cheaper and more sustainable option.
As a consequence of the government's austerity measures, the sales of generic products in Spain grew by 12% between 2010 and 2012. In 2010 generics sales accounted for 8% of overall pharmaceutical sales, but in 2012 the share rose to 13%. According to Spanish newspaper El Correo, the recent financial crisis and the subsequent austerity measures enacted by the government, and especially Royal Decree 9/11 on mandatory prescription by active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), have contributed to the growth of the generic sector. According to the country's national generics association, AESEG, the consumption per unit sold doubled between 2010 and 2012, going from 13% of overall national pharmaceutical sales in 2010 to 25% in 2012.
The association says it is in the interest of the government and consumers to foster such a boost of the generics industry as an average generic drug costs EUR3.60 (USD4.80), making the products affordable for most of the population. According to a survey carried out by AESEG, 80% of Spanish people trust the purchase of generic drugs, a figure that represents a 15% rise in confidence since 2008 and a 35% increase in comparison to 2000.
Outlook and Implications
Spain, together with Italy, Portugal and Greece, ranks 25% lower than the Northern European average of generics use of around 50–60%, and much lower than in the United States, where it is 80%.
Recent AESEG results also show that more than half of the Spanish population (53%) would choose generic drugs over branded versions, and in the case of chronic diseases, 72% of Spanish patients choose generic drugs as part of their daily treatment (see Spain: 26 March 2012: More Than Half of Spanish Choose Generics over Branded Drugs).The results show that after initial resistance to generics, and also as a consequence of the implementation of Royal Decree 9/11, the Spanish population is starting to show adherence to generics as an alternative form of treatment, and even in some cases prefer generics over branded drugs. The study found that 80% of Spanish citizens trust generic drugs and 92% of the population has heard of generic drugs, which represents 15% more than in 2008 and 35% more than in 2000 (source: AESEG). Nevertheless, the Spanish road towards full generics implementation is still long and steep.
An upcoming partnership between AESEG and the new government is expected to work on boosting the Spanish generic sector by implementing a domestic industry in order to meet the internal needs of the population and market domestic generic drugs internally as a cheaper and more sustainable option to the population. With this partnership, the government wishes for the generic sector to have a stronger impact in Spain in terms of sales, revenues, market share, and exports, which accounted for 18% of overall therapeutics exports in 2011 (source: AESEG). Implementing and fostering the domestic generics industry is a core part of Spain's recent wave of austerity measures, as such moves help the country make healthcare and pharmaceutical budgetary savings, and simultaneously ensure medicines are more affordable for patients. Total generic revenues in Spain amount to over EUR1 billion per year, and generics production saved Spain over EUR11 billion over the 1999–2010 period (source: AESEG).
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