What benefits do generics bring to the Irish economy?
Generics are well-known medicines with proven therapeutic value available at affordable prices. In addition, generic medicines stimulate market competition and help provide Government with the budget headroom needed to deliver more expensive medical treatments and services that patients often need.
Ageing populations and rapidly rising treatment costs are causing governments throughout the world to look again at the sustainability of their healthcare services. In Ireland, the value which generics can deliver in an era of rising healthcare costs has scarcely been exploited. With a significant number of patents due to expire in the next 3 years, almost €300 million in the Irish market alone, generic medicines provide a cost-efficient means of controllingone of the fastest growing budget items in healthcare, which is pharmaceuticals.
At present, generic companies employ 2,000 people in Ireland, in both manufacturing and research and development roles, accounting for 8% of the total numbers employed in the pharmaceutical sector here and for 16 of the total 83 manufacturing sites in Ireland. At EU level, it is estimate the generics industry is represented by more than 1000 companies directly employing around 150,000 people