“There is still a lot that can be done and the sustainability of generic medicines is the main challenge”, anticipates Luís Abrantes, CEO and managing director of Generis, in his recent opinion article published in the online newspaper Observador, thus marking two decades of I work in Portugal for this pharmaceutical manufacturer, which is part of the Aurobindo Group, owner of 26 factories and exporter to more than 150 countries.

“Twenty years later, the value of generic medicines continues to be proven, year after year. After an adaptation phase, this type of medicine is now well accepted by patients in general. There are no fundamental doubts regarding its quality, safety and effectiveness. But generics can still contribute to better health for the Portuguese.

According to very recent data from APOGEN – Portuguese Association of Generic and Biosimilar Medicines, generic medicines have generated, over the last twenty years, savings of more than 7 billion euros for the Portuguese State and families. APOGEN and the National Pharmacy Association (ANF) also recently reported that, last year, generic medicines sold in pharmacies saved the Portuguese people more than 509 million euros, the highest amount in the last 12 years.

The path to date is, without a doubt, positive. But there is still a lot to do. First of all, and despite 20 years having passed since the arrival of generics, it is still necessary to combat the myth of a certain ease in making these medicines available. Bringing generics to the market involves a complex, time-consuming and expensive Innovation & Development process. There is no “copy/paste” made from originating medicines. On the contrary, there is demanding and rigorous work to guarantee their bio-equivalence and bio-availability. Therefore, it is important to recognize who creates and produces these medicines, since only with ambition and size/scale can value be created for the healthcare ecosystem.

We believe that, among the medical profession, a new wave of awareness is also necessary, as generic medicines have a natural evolution that must be passed on to those who prescribe them. In this aspect, pharmacists play a fundamental role, from the perspective of the sustainability of prices charged, as they closely monitor users in the post-prescription phase.

Without a doubt, although a first step has been taken in the last 20 years, it is not enough. There is still a lot that can be done and the sustainability of generic medicines is the main challenge. Access to safe, effective and more sustainable therapies has already proven its contribution. In the future, it is important to continue this path and reinforce the role of generic medicines, so that we can all count on better health.”

30 million packages per year and 108 M€ of turnover in 2022

Generis Farmacêutica won first place in the Global Ranking of Generics according to the “Benchmarking Saúde 2023” study, carried out by GS1 Portugal.

That study allows us to simultaneously evaluate service levels, logistical performance and commercial relationships between business partners in the health sector.

The Generis factory, located in Venda Nova, Amadora, has the capacity to produce 30 million packages annually, equivalent to 1.2 billion units, including tablets, sachets or capsules.

It closed 2022 with a turnover of 108 million euros, with an EBITDA of 23 million euros. The expectation is to close this year with 115 million euros in revenue. The national market represents around 82% of its activity. Generis is investing a million euros in improving the unit.

Source: Generis / Observador / Vida Económica / AIP