The Daily Manila Shimbun


Generics account for 65 percent of drug sales

March 16, 2017

Generic drugs have overtaken branded counterparts almost a decade since the passage of the Cheaper Medicines Act of 2008. Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said during the Patient Forum on Access to Medicines Thursday 65 percent of pharmaceutical sales are generics. “Generics now account for 65 percent of the total pharmaceutical market in terms of volume sales whereas originator products account for only 35 percent of the total pharmaceutical market industry,” said Ubial. In a separate interview, Ubial said this is up by more than 20 percent as compared to the estimated 40 percent generic drugs sale before the Cheaper Medicines Act of 2008. “When the Generics Law was enacted in 1988, we were even at zero percent in terms of generic drugs sale,” added the official. Ubial said there are more generic players and the mushrooming of generic pharmacy chains. “Reducing out-of-pocket spending, particularly for medicines, is one of the legacies targeted under the Philippine Health Agenda.  The current administration is determined to maximize the instruments provided in the law and undertake reforms to ensure that we bring prices down for consumers,” said Ubial. One of the measures being planned by the Duterte Administration, she said, is the revival of the Botika ng Bayan to serve outpatient drug needs of patients and augment PhilHealth benefits. Ubial said they are looking at coming up with economic zones for foreign and local generics companies to encourage firms to establish manufacturing plants locally with the long-term goal of better competition and the assurance of the long-term supply of affordable and quality generics. DMS