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Generics: an enigma?

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It has been a couple of months when the topic of generics has popped up repeatedly. It started with several papers submitted to the journal, including one published in this issue. The issue was further highlighted by a paper and accompanying editorial in a recent Annals of Internal Medicine. The editorial by Sherer1 quotes data showing that generic antiretroviral drugs have helped to decrease mortality by 24% since 2005, thereby leading to a decrease in new cases of HIV infections of 20% since 2001. On the other hand, Sherer states that 10 generic antiretrovirals available in the USA are used infrequently because of greater toxicity and inferior efficacy. The articles are stimulated by the availability of generic efavirenz due this …

Correspondence to Professor Phil Wiffen, Pain Research Unit, Churchill Hospital, Old Road, Oxford OX3 7LE, UK; phil.wiffen{at}

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