1. Market Research
  2. > Pharmaceutical Market Trends
  3. > Generic Drug

The Business of Generics: Market Trends & Strategies Explained

  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
57 votes

Global Generic Drug Industry

The generic drug industry (as a part of the pharmaceutical business) covers the marketing and sale of medication containing the same active ingredients and dosages as brand-name drugs manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry. Drugs can be prescribed under their chemical name without specifying a particular pharmaceutical brand or company. A key benefit of generic drugs is that they usually cost a fraction of the price of brand-name drugs, as much as 80% to 85% less according to the US Food and Drug Administration. For example, Glucotrol, a drug used in the treatment of diabetes, represents a monthly cost to patients of between $42 and $84 for 10 mg tablets; however, the drug’s generic version, Glipizide, costs up to 10 times less at between $4 and $8 per month.

Generic drugs are under the same governance as brand-name drugs and must adhere to the same standards. When brand-name drugs come off patent, the market is opened up to generic versions. Patent protection generally protects a drug’s intellectual property rights for about 20 years, but as the patent is effective from the clinical trial stage, the actual time the drug is on the market can be far less, often between 10 and 14 years. After a patent expires, pharmaceutical companies come under fierce pricing pressure due to competition from their less-expensive generic counterparts.

Generics help reduce government spending on healthcare, accounting in part for a near 5% decrease in US drug spending, reports the FDA. The FDA acts as a governing body for generic drugs to enforce maximum standards of variation with brand-name drugs. However, in an 11-year study, variation in absorption of branded and generic drugs was found to be as little as 3.5%. Such negligible variation could equally exist in a comparison of two branded drugs.

Best-Selling Generic Drugs

Generic drugs took all of the top-10 spots for the most-prescribed drugs in the US last year, as ranked by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Only three brand-name drugs ranked in the top 25, highlighting the strong foothold secured by generics.

Possibly further boosting future sales is the looming patent expiration of several of the pharmaceutical world’s star prescription brand-name drugs, for which generics are poised to claim a sizeable market share. Top generic drugs to enter the market this year are expected to be Methylphenidate (an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug taking over from Concerta) and Levofloxacin (a copy of antibiotic Levaquin).

Other generics set to take over from brand-name drugs include:

  • Fenofibrate based on the cholesterol drug Tricor
  • Montelukast based on asthma and allergy treatment Singulair
  • Pioglitazone based on the diabetic drug Actos
  • Valsartan based on the high blood pressure medication Diovan

Industry Leaders

BCC Research shows Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to hold just under 20% of the global generic drugs market, followed by Sandoz, with 10% of the market. In joint third place are Watson and Mylan, with 6% each. Together, Teva, Sandoz, Watson, and Mylan hold a combined 40% share of the global market.

Generic Drug Industry Trends

The generic drug market is gaining increasing ground over brand-name pharmaceuticals, with the FDA reporting that generics account for more than 70% of prescription drugs in the US. 


Leading Associations

You might be interested in these related markets:

Customer Support

Talk to Sam

+44 208 068 8943

6 Reports
Demand, Supply, Deals & Alliance
29 Statistics
Demand, Market Size, Finance
38 Reports
Demand, Supply, Price
83 Statistics
Demand, Market Size, Company Financials
4 Reports
Market Size, Demand, Company
4 Statistics
Market Size, Demand, Company
4 Reports
Market Size, Supply, Demand
16 Statistics
Company Financials, Finance, Market Size
8 Reports
Market Size, Supply, Trade
28 Statistics
Market Size, Demand, Supply
3 Reports
Demand, Market Size, Price
3 Statistics
Market Size, Demand, Price
12 Reports
Demand, Market Size, Company Financials
38 Statistics
Demand, Market Size, Company Financials
Search in Generic Drug Industry (About 300 reports)
Parent industry: Pharmaceutical
Related industries: Drug Delivery, Drug Development, OTC, Prescription Drug, Therapy, Biopharmaceutical

About 100 reports

Purchase Reports From Reputable Market Research Publishers

Generic Drugs Markets in China

Generic Drugs Markets in China

  • $ 4000
  • Industry report
  • May 2018

China’s demand for Generic Drugs has grown at a fast pace in the past decade.In the next decade, both production and demand will continue to grow. The Chinese economy maintains a high speed growth which ...

GENERIC DRUGS MARKET FORECAST 2018-2028 $ 3446 April 2018

Global Generic Pharmaceutical Partnering Terms and Agre ... $ 2995 October 2018

US Generic Drug Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, G ... $ 1999 February 2019

Generic Drugs Industry Forecasts - China Focus $ 1800 May 2018

Generic Drugs Companies in China $ 1800 May 2018

GCC Generic Drug Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, ... $ 1799 April 2018

United States Generic Drugs Market, By Therapeutic Appl ... $ 1590 August 2018

United States Generic Drugs Market, By Therapeutic Appl ... $ 1590 June 2018

Generic Drugs Market: Global Industry Trends, Manufactu ... $ 1499 June 2018

ReportLinker simplifies how Analysts and Decision Makers get industry data for their business.

Make sure you don’t miss any news and follow us on