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The generic-patent medicine conflict flares up again in The Netherlands
  1. D O E Gebhardt
  1. Correspondence to:
 D O E Gebhardt
 Anna van Burenlaan 1, 2341 VE Oegstgeest, The Netherlands; doe.gebhardt{at}planet.nl

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Recently I reported in this journal1 how it became necessary for a judge to settle a dispute between the pharmaceutical industry and certain Dutch pharmacists. It considered the question of whether a pharmacist is permitted, without prior consultation, to give a patient a (cheaper) generic drug instead of the patent drug mentioned on the prescription.

Another dispute has now arisen after the pharmaceutical industry discovered that healthcare insurers were paying general practitioners (GPs) a bonus if they prescribed generic drugs, such as simvastatin (which reduces cholesterol content) or omeprazol (which reduces the …

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