Expiry of patent protection on statins: effects on pharmaceutical expenditure in Australia

Philip M Clarke and Edmund M Fitzgerald
Med J Aust 2011; 194 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2011.tb04157.x
Published online: 3 January 2011

In reply: The main purpose of our recent article1 was to quantify estimates of pharmaceutical expenditure over the next decade using various assumptions regarding the price and use of generic statins. We report estimates of billions of dollars in potential savings associated with various scenarios that increase the current off-patent statin use in Australia from around 25% of prescriptions to between 50% and 100%. Simoens misinterprets our conclusions as recommending only using generic statins in Australia. We do not advocate any particular level of generic substitution, but argue that the optimal mix of patented and generic statins should be determined by using cost-effectiveness analysis.

  • Philip M Clarke
  • Edmund M Fitzgerald

  • School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

Philip Clarke has received funding from Servier Laboratories Australia for travel to attend the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research 2010 Conference to present work related to the ADVANCE study.


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