Jacek Glinka is the president of the Medicines for Europe, which represents the European generic, biosimilar and valued added pharmaceutical industries.
He spoke with EURACTIV.com’s Sarantis Michalopoulos and Hannah Black.
The discussion about the affordability and accessibility of medicines has taken centre stage in the EU and its member states. What is your approach?
I think the most important thing that many times politicians and the ministers of health don’t see properly is that the most effective way to create access to medicines is to let generic products enter the market and build their uptake. So as much as can be done to effectively manage the effective commercial launch of such products in the market, this is the best way to create access, because what happens, the original product is protected by patent. It’s very difficult to do something about the pricing of this product when it is patent-protected and it has like a natural market monopoly.
At the same time, it’s good to have a good price for this innovation because it encourages the industry to work on the innovation. But then the moment the product goes off patent, the government should do everything possible to make sure the product can be commercialised by the generic industry by as many players as possible in as many industries as possible.
This is what brings access and substantially improves the cost-benefit ratio. Because normally, when the generics are coming, not when the product is under patent, the pricing is going down — by market regulation, not (because) somebody negotiates the pricing. You encourage the competition.