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Off-patent medicines industry marks 30 years of delivering public health impact


12 Jun 2024


Health & Consumers

Medicines for Europe marks 30 years of delivering more equitable access to off-patent medicines as it opens its annual European conference in Dublin, in partnership with Medicines for Ireland.


The off-patent medicines industry supplies 70% of essential medicines in Europeincluding treatments for cancer, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and others. Generic medicines represent over 90% of the EU critical medicines list , positioning the industry as a key enabler of a strong European health system.


Producers of off-patent medicines are also central to addressing health challenges across Europe and, as such, Medicines for Europe has built strong partnerships within the European Union and with key decision makers to drive policy change. The review of European pharmaceutical legislation should deliver EU-wide solutions to tackle medicines shortages, clearer laws to allow patients to access generic and biosimilar medicines after patent expiry, and strong incentives for affordable value added medicines innovation and repurposing. For the secure supply of medicines, a future EU Critical Medicines Act should encourage more investment in essential medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing and implement security of supply criteria into procurement and other market policies.


Commenting ahead of the annual conference, President of Medicines for EuropeElisabeth Stampa said: “Our 30th anniversary is not just a celebration of our past achievements but a testament to our unwavering commitment to the future of healthcare in Europe. We are proud of the role we have played so far, but our journey is far from over and we are dedicated to continuing our work towards delivering solutions to tackle medicines shortages, clearer laws to allow access to generic and biosimilar medicines and incentives for value-added medicines. In this regard, we strongly encourage the new EU leadership to prioritise a Critical Medicines Act and the adoption of the new pharmaceutical legislation in the first 100 days in office.”


Also commenting, Chair of Medicines for Ireland, Paul Neill said: “We are delighted to be co-hosting this year’s European annual conference in partnership with our European association. While it is important to celebrate the successes of our advocacy efforts over the past three decades, it is vital that Medicines for Europe and its member national associations remain focused on delivering greater access to essential generic, biosimilar and value-added medicines in Ireland and across the continent. It’s very encouraging to see increasing penetration of generic medicines in Ireland in recent years, however several influencing factors are causing Ireland to still lag behind our European counterparts, and these must be addressed. To fully realise the potential of enhanced patient access and affordability through increased penetration, it is pivotal that Ireland fosters a market ecosystem that promotes fair competition and the availability of essential medicines into the future.


By fostering competition, reforming EU pharmaceutical laws, and implementing dynamic policies, we believe we can ensure access, affordability, and availability of essential medicines. As we face formidable challenges in Ireland’s healthcare system, the role of a resilient and sustainable medicines industry cannot be overstated. I truly believe that Ireland’s situation is a good example of the challenges we all face in making sure medicines are readily available and accessible across Europe. By encouraging the use of generic, biosimilar, and value-added medicines, we can alleviate the strain on our healthcare system and ensure that every patient has access to the medicines they need when they need them.”


Hosted in partnership with Medicines for Ireland (MFI) the diverse conference programme explores the:

  • Value proposition of off-patent medicines and their importance in providing cost-effective treatment options.
  • Evolution of the off-patent sector, and the major challenges and potential solutions in promoting the use of generic medicines in healthcare.
  • Future supply chain security for critical medicines and the role that robust European regulation and policy can play.
  • Opportunities to improve existing treatments through value-added medicines and the positive impact evolving innovation can have on the sustainability of health systems.
  • Merging of environmental sustainability with improved access to medicines, looking at best practices, and initiatives within the off-patent medicines industry.
  • Future of the off-patent pharmaceutical industry in Europe including emerging trends, technologies, and market dynamics shaping the industry landscape.


Resource hub

A dedicated press conference will take place on June 12th, 13.00-13.30 GMT (14.00-14.30 CET) with industry leaders Elisabeth Stampa and Paul Neill. Q&A will be possible for connected journalists. You can access the press conference using the link


A panel of industry executives is taking place on June 13th at 13.45-15.15 GMT (14.45 to 16.15 CET). Members of the press can watch a broadcast of this session but Q&A will not be possible. You can access this panel using this link


For more details on the Medicines for Europe annual conference, see


Medicines for Europe

Medicines for Europe represents the generic, biosimilar and value-added medicines industries across Europe. Its vision is to provide sustainable access to high quality medicines, based on 5 important pillars: patients, quality, value, sustainability and partnership. Its members directly employ 190,000 people at over 400 manufacturing and 126 R&D sites in Europe and invest up to 17% of their turnover in R&D investment. Medicines for Europe member companies across Europe are both increasing access to medicines and driving improved health outcomes. They play a key role in creating sustainable European healthcare systems by continuing to provide high quality, effective generic medicines, whilst also innovating to create new biosimilar medicines and bringing to market value added medicines, which deliver better health outcomes, greater efficiency and/or improved safety in the hospital setting for patients. For more information please follow us at and on Twitter @medicinesforEU.