Generic Medicines Initiative Highlights UL GEMS Research

Research completed at the University of Limerick’s Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) has been highlighted by the influential Generics and Biosimilars Initiative (GaBI). The initiative, founded in 2008, has become an authoritative resource for global news on the recent developments in the field of generics and biosimilars, a repository of worldwide guidelines and an archive of related scientific information. It seeks to provide readers with the latest updates on developments in relation to generic and biosimilar medicines, and to serve as a communication vehicle to reach key members of the healthcare world.

The UL work focused on the fact that in June 2013, new legislation came into effect in Ireland - the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013 - that introduced generics substitution and reference pricing for the first time in this market. As a result of this new legislation, Irish patients have a greater likelihood of receiving a generic medicine in place of a brand-name prescription medication. The research assessed pharmacists’ opinions of, and attitudes towards, generics in Ireland.

Dr Suzanne Dunne, who performed the investigations, explained her findings "Overall, community pharmacists in Ireland held positive opinions about usage of generics, yet they expressed concerns about the practical implementation of reference pricing and generic substitution. Concerns were also raised about the impact on patient acceptance due to the varying appearance of generic medicines and regarding the lack of confidence that they observed in the general public in relation to usage of generics. Consequently, participants stated that educational interventions aimed at improving consumer confidence in generics could help to overcome challenges in improving usage of generic medicines in Ireland."

All content on GaBI Online is based on peer reviewed, scientific research articles, and up-to-date legislation and presented in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-find format. The UL research is highlighted here: while the original publication Perceptions and attitudes of community pharmacists towards generic medicines can be accessed here:

The UL work was completed at the Centre for Interventions in Infection, Inflammation & Immunity that brings together a multidisciplinary team of researchers focused on developing studies that impact health outcomes. For further information about 4i go to: