Date Published: December , 2017
Publisher: Makerere Medical School
Author(s): Frasia Oosthuizen, Pariksha Jolene Kondiah, Hawa Bibi Moosa, Siddiqa Naroth, Nabeel Ismail Patel, Divashnee Reddy, Amanda Soobramoney.
The objective of this study was to analyse the market share of generic vs originator selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and also compare market share of different SSRIs in the private health care sector in South Africa, over a period of 4 years.
This was a retrospective, descriptive study that measured generic market volume as a percentage of the total private SSRI market volume. Retail private sector sales data for six SSRIs available in the private sector in South Africa was evaluated. Sales data were obtained from various stages in the pharmaceutical supply chain, June 2009 – May 2013.
Generics constituted 86% and originators 14% of the private sector market volume of SSRIs. The share of the market volume of generic medicines increased by 29.93% over this 4-year period, while an overall increase of 27.86% in the ratio of generics to originators was observed.
In line with policies, generic SSRIs hold a larger volume of the market in the private sector in South Africa.
Depression is a debilitating disorder in which patients have a low self-esteem and feel helpless, sad, and guilty.1 According to the World Health Organisation, depression is affecting about 350 million people worldwide, therefore the demand for curbing and treating this mental health disorder is a global challenge. A recent South African study reported that depression was the most common diagnosis, being present in nearly two thirds (63.9%) of non-fatal suicidal patients seen in a large academic hospital.1
This was a retrospective study based on private sector sales data obtained from the IMS Health (Proprietary) Limited (South Africa) information service(s) from April 2009 to June 2013. IMS provides a useful database to the pharmaceutical and health care industries used by government, academics, drug plan administrators and pharmaceutical companies.
The share of the market volume of generic medicines increased by 29.93% over this 45-year period, while an overall increase of 27.86% in the ratio of generics to originators was observed. The market volume of originator SSRIs remained relatively constant during this period (Figure 1).
The cost savings of increased use of generic medicines can be substantial.3 Potentially, it is possible to improve cost-effective medicine use in the private sector if originator brands were switched to the lowest-priced generic equivalents available.7 Results from this study show an increase in the market volume of generic SSRIs, while there is no significant change to the market volume of originator SSRIs.
Generic SSRIs hold a larger volume of the market in the private sector in South Africa when compared to originator products. This is in line with policies, even within the private health sector, to promote the use of generics and decrease pharmaceutical expenditure.