Generic medications save consumers millions of euros but yet in Cyprus, beneficiaries of Gesy still don’t trust or choose them, the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) said on Monday.

Generic medicines are therapeutically equivalent to named brands and are much cheaper, the HIO said.

Although the official Pharmaceutical Products List includes only authorised medicines, the figures show that in Cyprus, compared to other developed countries, the use of generic drugs is significantly lower because of the myth of reduced efficacy.

“This is a completely unfounded claim, as generic medicines are essentially identical to originator medicines and are marketed after the patent or ‘patency certificate’ of the original medicine has expired,” the organisation said.

“By choosing generic formulations through the Gesy, we essentially secure medicines with the same active substance or combination of active substances of the corresponding original, paying either a lower contribution or no contribution at all.”

“Generics” or “generic drugs” are products which are identical to authorised brand-name drugs already on the market and have comparable or identical dosage, efficacy, quality and route of administration characteristics to the originator medicinal products. Their price is generally much lower than that of the originator medicinal products.

Each pharmaceutical product – whether original or generic – is constantly monitored and evaluated on the basis of protocols for the occurrence of adverse reactions, the HIO said.