“Evergreening” and other stories . . .

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f3869 (Published 25 June 2013)
Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3869

Get access to this article and all of bmj.com for the next 14 days

Sign up for a 14 day free trial today

Access to the full text of this article requires a subscription or payment. Please log in or subscribe below.

“Evergreening” is the name given to the strategies used by pharmaceutical companies to keep their market share for a product after the 20 year period of exclusive manufacturing rights has expired. A typical strategy is to create slightly modified follow-on drugs, typically entaniomers such as escitalopram and esomeprazole in place of generic citalopram and omeprazole. And there are a number of other ways to persuade prescribers to stick with named brands or to avoid generics. Most health systems try to combat this with the use of restricted formularies, and Geneva in Switzerland is no exception. But a cost evaluation analysis in PLOS Medicine (2013, doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001460) finds that these strategies achieve limited success. The researchers calculate that had all brand and follow-on drugs been replaced with generics, Geneva alone could have saved €30.3m (£25.7m; $40.3m) over an eight year period.

The problem of drug pricing is at its most acute with novel agents for cancer. More than 100 experts in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia speak out about the …

Get access to this article and all of bmj.com for the next 14 days

Sign up for a 14 day free trial today

Access to the full text of this article requires a subscription or payment. Please log in or subscribe below.

Article access

Article access for 1 day

Purchase this article for £20 $30 €32*

The PDF version can be downloaded as your personal record

* Prices do not include VAT

THIS WEEK'S POLL