Thursday, November 29, 2012

Greece - The new growth Avenue for Generic Companies

Bowing down to fiscal pressures, in November 2012, the Greece government has made it mandatory for physicians in Greece to prescribe drugs by their International non - proprietary name (INN). Under the new system,  physicians are now required to prescribe by drugs by their INN (instead of brand name). Upto 15% of the prescriptions can be prescribed by brand name and this rule would apply to those drugs where substitution may be risky (drugs with narrow therapeutic window, high toxicity levels). INN prescription should be used in the case of all newly diagnosed patients with chronic diseases, and exceptions should always be explained.

Greece is eying a potential saving of $2 billion from generics prescription. In terms of targets for pharmaceutical reimbursement for the 2013, the government has set a target of EUR2.88 billion as compared with over EUR5 billion in 2009.

Huge Upside Potential for Generic Players
As per IMS Health approximately only 30% of the off-patent drugs by volume are being prescribed as generics in Greece. This is very low when compared to the US or UK, where generic penetration is about 92% and 77 percent respectively.
However a conservative culture in Greece with regard to generics may pose an entry barrier for Generic companies outside Europe. The Athens Medical Association representing the Greek Medicine producer has voiced concerns of the new rule leading to counterfeit imports of drugs.

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