Recently the Ministry of Health announced its intentions to introduce generic drugs on the Georgian market. According to the Ministry, this step will regulate the existing prices of drugs in the country.
In pharmacology, the original brand drug is an innovative synthesized formula, the creation of which requires at least 10-12 years of research and studying the markets.
After their creation, such drugs are protected by copyright. Their owners, as a rule, enjoy a 20-year exclusive right to produce and sell the drug. This often leads to a high price of the drug once it reaches the market. Once the copyright expires, other manufacturers are given a right to also produce this drug.
That is precisely how first major generic drugs are produced. Creation of generics no longer requires expensive studies to be conducted. After the biological equivalence to the reference drug is proven, second, third, etc., generations of generics can be created. Attaining this level of advancement would be a revolutionary step for the Georgian pharmacology.
“Given Georgia’s social conditions, our patients often demand lower cost drugs because they can not afford the brand medicine. When we offer generic drugs to our patients as an optimal way-out, we often have to convince them that the generics are as effective as the brand medicines and are not harmful. This is because the Georgian pharmacological market is not developed enough to have a wide variety of generics. People are not familiar with such drugs, hence they feel uneasy about them,” Doctor Tinatin Gigauri told CBW.
Generics range from low, average to high quality, depending on the producing country, production process and the appropriate certification. Increasing demand on generics in Georgia is believed to make the existing pharma companies decrease prices on their brand medicines.