Imperative to consider multiple initiatives to maximize prescribing efficiency from generic availability: Case history from Abu Dhabi

Mohammed Abuelkhair, Shajahan Abdu, Brian Godman*, Sahar Fahmy, Rickard E. Malmstrm, Lars L. Gustafsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Pharmaceutical expenditure has risen rapidly in Abu Dhabi, resulting in policies surrounding generics. However, various circumstances will reduce potential savings, including pharmacists still being free to dispense either originator or branded generics and be fully reimbursed. Objectives: To research the changes in utilization patterns of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and lipid-lowering drugs before and after combined reforms on generics; and subsequently, calculate potential savings based on 'best practices' among Western European countries. Methods: An uncontrolled before-and-after observational study of utilization and expenditure of PPIs, statins and ezetimibe between 2004 and 2010, as well as up to 12 months before the first generic policy, to 1 year after the second generic policy, was carried out. Utilization was converted to defined daily doses (DDDs; 2011 DDDs) and DDDs/1000 inhabitants per day. Expenditure/DDD was calculated for omeprazole and simvastatin. Results: PPI utilization rose by 6.5-fold from 2004 to 2010, principally driven by increased utilization of patent-protected PPIs, although more recently stabilization in esomperazole utilization has occurred. Similar changes were seen for statins. Introduction of best practices would reduce PPI expenditure in 2010 by 32.8 million United Arab Emirates dirham (AED; €6.26 million) and statins by over 27 million AED (€5.15 million). Conclusion: Limited demand-side measures led to increased utilization of patent-protected products in Abu Dhabi following the generic reforms. Successful measures will release considerable resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Abu Dhabi
  • demand-side measures
  • drug utilization
  • generics
  • pharmaceuticals


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