protection for the molecule. Licensed brands are products that are licensed out by an originator company to a company located in another region or country. Original brands and licensed brands typically are higher priced relative to other product types, at least while the patent protection remains in place. Unbranded products and other brands are launched after the loss of exclusivity of an original brand or alongside the original where intellectual property protection is not enforceable. Such products are typically cheaper than their original or licensed counterparts, although in middle- and low-income countries other brands many times are priced at or higher than the original brand. The use of reference pricing also is having a similar effect in many high-income countries.
Pressure on health expenditures during the economic crisis could lead to a movement away from original and licensed brands.
At the end of 2008, few markets had shown a substantive three-quarter decline in the consumption of original and licensed brands. The one exception was Brazil, a market that has shown no overall decline in total consumption, but a clear switch in emphasis toward the other brands and unbranded medicines category in the private sector channel. A similar, if not stronger, uplift was seen in that part of the public sector in Brazil audited by IMS. During 2008, Brazilian authorities approved price increases on key therapeutic groups in the private sector -- so this change in consumption is likely to be the result of policy changes in the market rather than the economic crisis. In the rest of the Americas, Puerto Rico shows a decline in the consumption of original and licensed brands over the three quarters to Q1 2009 and signs of growth in the unbranded sector. Overall, this market had shown flat growth in consumption throughout 2008.
In the European region, high-income countries tend to show relatively flat growth in other brands and unbranded products. The private sector in Russia, however, shows a consistent decline in the other brands and unbranded category, which also may be the first signs of a decline in the original and licensed brand category. A similar analysis is not available for the Baltic region.
In the Western Pacific region, the latest information from Q1 2009 indicates a slowing of growth in both categories of medicines, but no country shows consistent evidence of decline in original and licensed brands.
In South East Asia, Indonesia shows a decline in consumption of original and licensed brands but overall growth in consumption for other brands and unbranded medications. Bangladesh shows signs of decline in both categories of medicines in the early part of 2008, but a recovery later in the year.