[The patents game. Generic and biosimilar drugs]

Rev Calid Asist. 2016 Mar-Apr;31(2):99-105. doi: 10.1016/j.cali.2015.08.002. Epub 2015 Nov 2.
[Article in Spanish]


The protection provided by patents on medicines has a limited duration. The expiry of patents expiration allows copies of the drugs to be released, competing with original. At first, they were identical to the original, known as generic drugs, but in recent years, due to the marketing of biological therapies and the expiry of many of their patents, biosimilar drugs have also emerged. These are not exact copies of the original, but, like generic drugs, biosimilar drugs have to demonstrate equivalence to the reference drugs in quality, safety and efficacy. Nevertheless, despite their importance and contribution to sustainability of health system, doctors are sometimes unaware of differences between them, and their impact in terms of clinical and economic effects. An attempt is made to review and clarify certain aspects often unknown by physicians, despite their involvement in their use.

Keywords: Biosimilar; Biosimilares; Drugs generic; Efficiency; Eficiencia; Medicamentos genéricos; Normativa; Patent; Patente; Regulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals*
  • Drugs, Generic*
  • Humans
  • Patents as Topic


  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals
  • Drugs, Generic