30 July 2015.
From today, the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) will be known as the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA).
After patents expire on brand name medicines, affordable generic and biosimilar medicines deliver the same health benefits to patients while also providing savings to taxpayers and the government. This means more patients can have access to essential medicines and savings can be redirected into the health system.
“We are entering a new era of affordable medicines with biosimilars. Our new name signals the significant role we, and generic and biosimilar medicines, will continue to play in the affordability and access to healthcare,” said GBMA CEO Belinda Wood.
“Biosimilars will make a significant impact on the Australian pharmaceutical landscape. Regulatory requirements, reimbursement policy and marketing practices are evolving and there has never been a more exciting time to be shaping positive outcomes for patients, government and industry,” she said.
Generic and biosimilar medicines play an essential role in delivering affordable healthcare through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Today, GBMA members supply every biosimilar, and 90% of generic medicines, dispensed through the PBS.
25% of current PBS expenditure is on biological treatments. Biosimilars promise savings as well as the opportunity to increase patient access to life-changing medicines. In the coming years, a number of biological treatments will come off patent including adalimumab (Humira), etanercept (Enbrel) and rituximab (Mabthera).
As new biosimilars become available in Australia, more patients can expect to have access to these affordable medicines, which are proven to be just as safe and effective as the original brands.