Medicines: 150 million euros saved if systematic generic medicines used
Tuesday, 28 February 2017
Social Security could save 150 million euros, and Belgian patients 55 million euros per year. This could happen if doctors operate systems prescribing less expensive alternatives or generic or copy medicines when available. This is in the newspapers L’Echo and De Tijd today (Tuesday). The calculation has been put forward in a study by the organisation Mutualités Libres.
The latter says that the share of generic or copy medicines within prescriptions overall in Belgium has increased in recent years. However, it remains far lower than in neighbouring countries such as Germany and the Netherlands.
In 2015, such medicines constituted 30% of all prescriptions in Belgium, compared to 24% in 2012. However, by comparison the share of these generic medicines is 80% in Germany and 70% in the Netherlands.
Mutualités Libres say prescribing brand medicines, even if less expensive alternatives do exist, remains fairly common in Belgium, especially in the sphere of antidepressants (1 prescription in 2) and blood pressure medication (1 in 3 prescriptions).