SPANISH GOVERNMENT CRITICISED OVER GENERICS PROMOTION

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Spanish drug industry group Farmaindustria has criticised the government's efforts to promote generic drugs, branding them "confusing and inexact." Although the body supports government attempts to boost public awareness of the efficacy and safety of generics, it claims that it is incorrect to promote them as a way of making significant savings.

This is because in Spain, the reference prices of branded drugs are already calculated in line with the cheapest generics available. As a result, Spain has one of the lowest price margins between branded and generic drugs in Europe. The organisation goes on to state that government declarations that generics are 50% cheaper than branded drugs are misleading.

Farmaindustria has also criticised the government's "more and better" slogan for generics, pointing out generics merely aspire to original products. They fear that such a message could damage the value of brands and have encouraged innovative firms to protect their product images.

The Spanish government has been attempting to reduce drug expenditure since 2000. Measures have included encouraging the generics industry, which remains relatively underdeveloped, as well as implementing price cuts.