Lilly believes that generic drugs have an important role in the prescription drug marketplace. A vibrant generic market with price competition at the end of the innovation life cycle is economically efficient and best serves public health.
This role of generics is premised upon the existence of proper regulatory safeguards for bioequivalency and manufacturing to ensure therapeutic efficacy and safety. Such a role also recognizes the importance of ensuring that patent protection has truly expired, as well as protecting patients by requiring that the physician approves of the substitution. Lilly also believes where payers reimburse drugs, branded drugs should be available when determined medically necessary.
In most developed markets, generic products cost less than branded products. In countries where government is the primary purchaser and reimburser of medicines, the use of high-quality generics may increase the market for innovative drugs by increasing the budget available for innovative products, i.e., provide "headroom for innovation" by freeing up money. The concept of "headroom" only makes sense in developed markets where there is adequate patent protection for innovative products and where governments are willing to use the savings to make innovative products available.
Lilly believes that pro-innovation policies ultimately are consistent with support for access to quality, affordable generics in the future. Today’s innovative medicines are tomorrow’s generics.