The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published a paper setting out a summary of the proceedings of a policy roundtable on generic drugs. A number of key points were raised at the roundtable. It was agreed that competition between branded and generic drugs could lead to savings of up to 80% for consumers in the long term, although it was recognised that it is important that branded pharmaceutical companies are able to recoup their research and development costs in order to promote innovation in the field of medical research. The effect of generic drug competition was also discussed and, particularly, the fact that competition in the market depends on a number of factors. Nevertheless, price regulation is seen to be very important as it can reduce the margins within which generic producers are able to compete. Further, the OECD paper refers to a Commission report which states that branded pharmaceutical companies should expect greater antitrust scrutiny of their behaviour, especially in relation to patents and agreements with competitors.
A number of concerns were also raised, for example, the practice by some branded producers of paying generic producers to delay entry into a given market , or by using "authorised generics" to deter other generic producers from competing.
5 October 2010