Warwick Smith, Director General of the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA) and the British Biosimilars Association (BBA), said:
“The use of more cost effective generic medicines following the expiry of the patent protection on the original branded product reduces the NHS Drug Bill by approximately £13bn thereby increasing access to innovative and gold standard older products for patients. The UK has amongst the highest use of generic medicines in the EU and the lowest prices. We will continue to work with NHS England, the Department of Health and other agencies to increase the efficiency of this market yet further, to ensure that patients in the UK benefit to the greatest extent possible in terms of access to medicines and clinical outcomes.
“Biosimilar medicines, launched after the expiry of the patent protection on an originator biological medicine, offer very significant opportunities to enhance patient access to these lifesaving and life enhancing medicines. Six of the top ten products by value in the UK are biological medicines, and starting or switching patients to biosimilar versions of these medicines when they become available can save the NHS very significant amounts of money enhancing patient access and delivering enhanced standards of patient care.
“The use of biosimilars in the UK initially lagged behind other EU countries, but is now improving, in large part thanks to the efforts of NHS England in bringing together all of the interested parties and promoting understanding of these medicines amongst all stakeholders, something we will continue to support. We welcome NHS England’s focus on driving the uptake.”