August 3, 2020

Carcedo says that Spain must do more to boost the use of generics

The acting Minister of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, María Luisa Carcedo, said Monday that Spain must do more to promote the use of generic medicines, lower than in other countries of the European Union (EU) and one of the measures with which to help reduce health spending.

"Spain has a long way to go to incorporate the use of generics. We are approximately 40% and the average of (European) countries is around 60%," said the minister upon arrival at a Council of European holders of Health, where the challenges of the European pharmaceutical system will be discussed.

The consumption of generics "helps a lot to control spending as a reference element to lower the cost of medicines," said the minister, who added that Spain has "possibilities for improvement not only in generics, but also in biosimilars, which they are identical in efficacy to other medications. "

Advancing in this area is "one more element for the improvement of therapeutic use, the rational use of medicine and so that the cost of medicines is not a heavy slab within our National Health System", which is also considered " the second most efficient in the world and the eighth highest quality, "said Carcedo.

The minister explained that the Government is working on "the correct use of the medicines, adequate and at a reasonable cost", as well as on guaranteeing the quality and safety for the patient, something that, he stressed, conditions all the decisions on pharmaceutical policy.

In particular, many measures are being implemented for the rational use of the drug "and agreeing actions with the Autonomous Communities, aimed at the savings generated by the management of the pharmaceutical policy.

On the other hand, the minister recalled that in the last Council of Ministers a Royal Decree was approved to guarantee the safety of medicines and prevent counterfeiting and to prevent shortages.

In particular, it will force laboratories to warn "six months in advance of possible manufacturing problems" and will also introduce measures on homeopathic products, "demanding the same requirements as for medications for a specific therapeutic indication."

Therefore, the minister summed up, "we are working in many aspects within the pharmaceutical policy, all guided by the correct use of the medicine".

According to the report on the State of Health in Europe, published recently, Spain spends 15% less on Health than the EU average, however direct payments for medicines are high.

These payments increased steadily between 2010 and 2014, before decreasing slightly since 2015 to reach 24% of total health expenditure in 2017, a percentage well above the EU average, located at 16%.

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