Warwick Smith, Director General of the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA), said: “Pfizer’s cynical behaviour flies in the face of the virtuous circle between innovator and generic companies which normally works extremely well in the interests of patients and the NHS.
“In our view, the role of the so-called research based sector is precisely that: to innovate and develop new medicines to deal with currently unmet clinical need. The main job of the generic sector is to introduce competition when the innovators lose their monopoly due to patent expiry. This massively reduces the cost of medicines which frequently continue to be the gold standard for the majority of conditions; and competition also drives further innovation.
“When originators put their resources into artificially increasing the commercial value of their older products by extending their monopoly, they not only cost the NHS more money, but fail to live up to their promise to society to deliver much needed new medicines.
“Generic companies sometimes need to invest significantly in older medicines to keep them on the market, and to meet current regulatory standards. This might lead to increases in price, which would be justified in the interests of patients. But we would never support activity designed purely to artificially increase prices. This equally breaks the virtuous circle of which the industry in the UK, originators and the generic, can be rightly proud.”
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