ECONOMY

Generic drugs to help cure state?s financial malaise

In a move designed to lower the cost of drugs to the public health sector, governments around the world are promoting the broader use of generic drugs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a generic drug as a pharmaceutical product intended to be interchangeable with an innovator product. It is manufactured without a license from the innovator company and marketed after the expiry date of the patent or other exclusive rights.

It is estimated that health spending in developed countries will exceed 20 percent of gross domestic product by 2050. Even if governments succeed in trimming expenditure by reforming other state sectors, this will do little to contain costs in the health system and will merely slow down the repercussions.

A recent study by global management consulting firm McKinsey