The UK has the lowest market prices in the developed world for generics medicines as well as a high-cost, high-quality labour market. However, while generic competition has been enormously successfully as a means for saving money for the NHS, there has to be a limit to how far manufacturers can keep reducing prices because of strong competitive pressure. Generics operate solely at their own risk in terms of pricing. The Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) gives branded medicines a risk sharing arrangement which allows them to modulate prices if they are too low. Generics do not enjoy this benefit.
The long-term sustainability of the generic medicines sector relies on fair prices and a level playing field, particularly in competition with branded medicines, including originators. A successful generic medicines policy requires both supply-side measures relating to pricing and reimbursement, and demand-side incentives for physicians, pharmacists and patients.