Letter: Generic drugs give a kick up the backside

The relationship between branded pharmaceutical companies and their generic competitors is indeed symbiotic ('Pharma industry under fire over cost of drugs,' At A Glance, 13 Oct). As the column said, without branded products there can be no generics.

What you neglected to add, however, was what branded firms get out of the relationship. Put simply, they get a kick up the backside.

Without generic competition, branded companies would not bother to innovate. The relationship is circular, as has been pointed out many times by, among others, Dr Daniel Vasella, chairman and CEO of Novartis (one of the world's largest branded drugs companies, and owner of Sandoz, the world's second-largest generics player).

The column says drugs must evolve to fight diseases. It might have added that without generics, this country would not be able to afford them.

Mike Rice MCIPR, editor, Generics Bulletin.

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