Based on the recently released Mediscor Medicines Review, generic use has hit a record high of 60% compared to a low 35% just over a decade ago.
Erik Roos, CEO of leading generics firm, Pharma Dynamics, describes this as an extraordinary success story.
“To put it into context, generic medicine has not only saved SA healthcare billions, but has increased access to affordable medicine for millions of patients.
“It wasn’t such a long time ago, when virtually no generics were available in the country to treat life-threatening conditions such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). Today, close to 100 million prescriptions per annum are for generic medicines.”
“In 2001, the government passed a law that allowed generic substitution of branded medicines, provided that both doctor and pharmacists approved of it. Since then we’ve seen a surge in usage”, he remarks.
According to the review, generic uptake by provider type, is highest for GPs (89.8%), followed by courier pharmacies (83.7%), other providers (76%) and retail pharmacies (74.5%).
The highest generic uptake is for HIV/AIDS (93.3%), oncology (88.5%) and non-prescribed minimum benefits (PMB) chronic (82.4%). The latter includes illnesses such as bipolar mood disorder and asthma. In other major disease classes, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), generics also dominate.