Background When a drug patent expires, prices usually fall dramatically with the entrance of generic competitors. While the economic benefit from this price reduction is obvious, the benefit is often dampened by two conditions: when the hospital shortly before the patent expiry hands out medicine to patients that covers several months’ home treatment, patients use the expensive original product at home after the availability of cheaper generic products; and the patent expiry is followed by a transition period where the hospital uses the original product despite the availability of cheaper generic products because there is a stock of original product.
Purpose The aim of this project was to increase the economic benefit of a drug patent expiry by reducing the unnecessary use of the original product after the entrance of generic competitors without putting supply at risk.
Material and methods The handing out of medicine to patients was fitted to the tender period end date instead of consistently handing out medicine for 6 months’ treatment. Moreover, the stock of the original product was depleted before the beginning of the new tender period. The tender organisation interviewed presumed generic suppliers in advance of the tendering process to guarantee low prices and supply reliability. The effects on the economy and supply reliability were evaluated.
Results The controlled reduction of stock and medicine handouts to patients of the original product led to a reduction in medicine expenses of approx. €1.4 million (corresponding to a 54% reduction) in the past five months before patent expiry. The supply of the generic product was sufficient in the whole country. Close collaboration between the hospital pharmacy, the tender organisation and the clinic appeared crucial to the success of the new method without putting the medicine supply to patients at risk.
Conclusion Collaboration between the hospital pharmacy, the tender organisation and the clinic prevented unnecessary use of the original product after patent expiry and a fast transition to the generic product, which reduced medicine expenses without compromising the medicine supply.
References and/or acknowledgements None.
No conflict of interest.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.