Making medicines affordable and promoting innovation

British Generic Manufacturers Association Overview

The British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA) represents the interests of UK-based manufacturers and suppliers of generic and biosimilar medicines and promotes the development and understanding of the generic and biosimilars medicines industry in the United Kingdom.

BGMA Director General Warwick Smith and economic and commercial group chair Richard Daniell in conversation with HRH Prince Charles at a reception to celebrate the 10th anniversary of International Health Partners.

Our members account for approximately 90% of the UK generic medicines market by volume. The reason we exist is to ensure increased access to medicines while providing cost savings.

Agreement for Scottish health boards and generic medicine suppliers to use updated off-contract claims guidance

“The BGMA has agreed with the Pharmaceutical Market Support Group (PMSG) that Scottish health boards should, from 1 March 2015, use updated guidance when ascertaining if a ‘contracted’ secondary care medicine purchase is not able to be supplied, and if so, follow a set process for claiming the difference between the contracted and alternative purchase. PMSG and BGMA believe that following the guidance will make the off-contract claims process more efficient for both NHS Scotland health boards and suppliers. You can download this updated guidance in Word or PDF form, by selecting the document required”.

This updated guidance is already being used in England and Wales, so NHS Scotland’s formal adoption of the guidance spreads existing practice.

As an association, our core focus is on:

10 Things you need to know about the UK generic medicines industry

  • 1

    Generic medicines meet the same standards of quality, safety and efficacy as originator brands.

  • 2

    Generics have to demonstrate that they are bioequivalent to the original product - i.e., they deliver equal medical benefits to the patient.

  • 3

    Generic competition saves the NHS more than £10bn per annum.

  • 4

    The average cost to the NHS of a generic medicine is £3.79, whilst the average cost of a branded medicine is £19.73

  • 5

    On one product alone, based on current usage, the generics industry has saved the taxpayer £1.1bn

  • 6

    In the UK, a free market approach with competition between manufacturers and incentives for GPs to prescribe and pharmacists to dispense generics has led to a high market share (67%) for generic products.

  • 7

    Generic prices in the UK are the lowest in the developed world and are constrained by free market competition.

  • 8

    The market share that generics reach and the savings they generate are dependent upon national legislation and regulation.

  • 9

    Further growth and NHS savings are constrained by regulatory delays and costs, and the actions of some originator companies in trying to avoid or delay generic competition.

  • 10

    Competition from generics also stimulates the research based pharmaceutical industry to develop new medicines.