There is no denying that having more choice increases our flexibility, autonomy, freedom and gives more control back to us.

Jul 02, 2019

For small things we do regularly, we don’t think of it as a choice. When we want a cup of coffee we can pick from dozens of coffee shops and a plethora of coffee types when we get to the counter of the shop: we accept this as the norm.

Why then do we consider medicine, after loss of exclusivity, differently?

In Europe, generics face a multitude of regulatory and economic barriers before making it to patients. The European commission found that some generic drugs arrive seven months after the reference medicines’ patent expires. This not only stops patients accessing potentially life-saving medicines but also costs consumers more than €3 billion a year1.

This is particularly true when we’re talking about oncology treatments. A recent study demonstrated that over a decade, generics were able to double access to medicine without raising cost in seven therapeutic areas2. However, in the complex area of oncology, lack of access may leave patients with very limited options3.

As the global leader in generic oncology with more than 50 oncology medicines in our portfolio, Sandoz continues to break down barriers and introduce generics and biosimilar medicines – whenever possible – on the day of loss of exclusivity.

We appreciate the importance of generic competition in giving patients more choice and also in increasing healthcare diversity. Sandoz is continuing to invest in research and development to improve the lives of patients, liberate healthcare resources and drive early access.

Francesco Balestrieri,
ad interim CEO at Sandoz


  1. Economist. Generic drugs and competition: Something rotten. Available from: Last accessed: June 2019
  2. IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. The Role of Generic Medicines in Sustaining Healthcare Systems: A European Perspective. June 2015. Available from: [Last accessed: June 2019].
  3. WHO. Access to medicines: making market forces serve the poor. Available from: Last accessed: June 2019