PAGB statement on branded medicines
Michelle Riddalls, PAGB Chief Executive, says:“Branded over-the-counter (OTC) products on the market in the UK are often different to the generic equivalents. Although the active ingredient might be the same, the inactive ingredients, or excipients, which are used to formulate the active ingredient into its given form e.g. tablet or liquid -may differ, causing the medicines to vary in appearance, speed of release or duration of relief. This offers benefits to people such as a fast dissolving coating so the medicine works faster, a slow release formula so the symptom relief lasts longer, improved taste, or easy to swallow formulations.
“Branded OTC medicines enjoy a long-standing heritage of trust. The manufacturers of well-known brands invest heavily in years of research and new product development, to bring new medicines to market with new benefits such as a faster onset of action, prolonged duration of action or products that were previously only available on prescription.
“While it is true that prescription medicines are granted several years of patent protection and exclusive access to the market, this is not the case with OTC products. It is exceedingly rare for new OTC medicines to have any form of protection on entry to the market. Other companies are then free to make their own versions, and as they don’t bear the original development costs, they can sell it at a lower price.
“Manufactures of brands also invest heavily in helping educate consumers about how to self-care for self-treatable conditions via their website for example. Some companies go even further than this to help tackle societal problems. Providing education and resources to help combat stigma around women’s bodies, sexual health and wellbeing. Brands can also produce innovative apps and tools to help consumers, such as those that accompany smoking cessation products. These types of activities are not provided by the generics. Manufacturers of brands also provide training to pharmacists on self-treatable conditions to help them to confidently advise consumers when purchasing products. All of these activities go above and beyond those usually provided by a generic equivalent.”
Notes to editors: PAGB, the consumer healthcare association, represents the manufacturers of branded OTC medicines, self-care medical devices and food supplements in the UK.
For further information please contact Farhana Hawthorn, Media and Public Affairs Manager, Farhana.hawthorn@PAGB.co.uk, 07522616526