Europe's Generic Onslaught
Patent expiries and cost-conscious governments are driving generics usage globally, but the highest growth is in Europe's southern markets-particularly France, Italy and Spain, where generics are in their infancy.
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Although generics still account for a paltry percentage of prescription drug usage in France, Ivax and Teva reckon the market is set to grow. Last April Ivax acquired all the products within Merck Sharpe & Dohme; just days later, Teva bought Bayer's French generics business. Teva and Ivax clearly hope that France-the world's fourth largest drug market-will follow its neighbors Germany and the UK, where generics represent a far greater proportion of the total pharmaceutical market.
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