The market for low-cost generic drugs looks set to be buoyant for the foreseeable future, both in Europe as a whole and in France, according to Hubert Olivier, president of the French subsidiary of the leading German generics group Ratiopharm.
Olivier believes that market penetration by generics will increase strongly in the years ahead and predicts that the French generics market, along with the rest of Europe, will double by 2008. Good news for companies supplying off-patent active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).
At the moment, the French market is expanding at over 20 per cent a year, one of the highest generics market growth rate in Europe, said Olivier. In fact, sales of generic drugs in the country will rise from €1.1 billion a year to some €2.4 billion by 2008.
Olivier, who is also president of French generic pharmaceutical industry organisation Gemme also said that the overall European market would expand to a value of around €16bn in the same period, from around €8bn at present.
One driver behind the change is the European Union legislation introduced last year which means that generics companies can now introduce their products a year earlier than was previously possible, as well as government efforts to increase the take-up of generics in the interests of cutting national drug bills.
For example, in France government-mandated generics promotion is expected to generate savings in 2004 alone of about €626m. Removing drugs from reimbursement, another cost-saving tactic, is expected to save only €500m.