CPhI Experts Highlight Importance of Access to Generics, Biosimilars

October 22, 2015

October 16, 2015.

An expert panel at this year's CPhI Worldwide in Madrid, Spain, stressed the continuing importance of emerging market access to generics and biosimilars, but noted the pharma industry’s disappointment with the outcome of the recent Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks, which limits patent exclusivity on innovative drugs and biologics in TTIP countries.

In a panel chaired on Wednesday October 14 by William Looney, PharmExec’s Editor-in-Chief - one of four briefings that discussed this findings of this year’s CPhI Annual Report -Ravindra Limaye, president of India's Biocon; Kate Kuhrt, senior director, Generics & Biotech, Thomson Reuters; and Vivek Sharma, CEO Pharma Solutions at India's Piramel, agreed that the generics segment will continue its growth, with emerging markets, particularly China and India, driving the expansion.

Noting that biologics have grown exponentially in recent years but have not yet achieved accessibility because of the affordability gap, Ravindra Limaye said: “[It] is proven that biosimilars … can rapidly gain market share and improve access". But he added that challenges remain, particularly with regard to educating the physician community about biosimilars. Also, although the regulatory structure was improving in the US, Europe and Japan, “it is important to understand that you need biosimilars in emerging markets to improve accessibility.”

Kate Kuhrt reminded the audience that “generic manufacturers need innovators, innovators need generic producers, and governments need both”. Without new drug launches by the innovator companies, there will be fewer generics brought to market, she said. “And right now we are seeing more innovators become involved in the generics sector, while generic companies are themselves innovating by coming up with ways to cut costs and curb waste”.

However, Kuhrt conceded that while the US Generic Pharmaceutical Association applauded the recent TTIP deal, “the pharma industry in general was disappointed and the biotech sector was very disappointed”, adding that “big and small companies have to protect their innovations and their business”.

This year’s CPhI Annual Report can be viewed at http://www.cphi.com/europe/networking/cphi-pharma-insights