Generic medicines

Generic medicines save the NHS billions of pounds a year, meaning the NHS can redirect those savings into areas where patients really need it 01

Medicines will often have more than one name: a generic name (the active or key ingredient of the medicine), and a brand name (the trade name the manufacturer gives to the medicine).

Many of our medicines are what’s called a ‘generic’, and this might be the first time you’ve come across a generic Teva medicine. You can be sure generic medicines contain the same active, or key, ingredient(s) as the original medicine brand.

As the world's leading provider of generic medicines, Teva understands the importance of making safe, quality medications accessible and affordable. We believe that every one of us should have access to quality medicine that helps manage disease, fights infection, or simply improves overall health.

We're proud to say that:

  • Around 200 million people worldwide take one of our medicines every day. 02
  • In the UK, one in seven prescription packs is a Teva medicine. 03
  • In addition, many prescription medicines made by other companies include active pharmaceutical ingredients produced by Teva.

Generic medicines are typically sold at a substantially lower price compared to their branded medicine counterparts, as the development process is generally less costly. Generic medicines cost, on average, 80–85% less than brand-name medicines. 04

Generic medicines save the NHS over £13 billion pounds a year 01

Generic medicines bring significant savings to the NHS medicines bill – estimates are that generic medicines save the NHS around £13 billion every year, in England and Wales, compared to the cost if their branded equivalents had been dispensed.01 This frees up valuable NHS resources to be directed to where patients need it.

As one of the leading generic medicines suppliers in the UK, Teva was responsible for £2.4 billion of these savings in 2021. That’s the equivalent of more than 96,000 new nurses or just under 83,000 junior doctors, or 38,000 GPs. 05


Without generics, the NHS medicines bill would be more than twice its current level 06

You might be surprised to learn that more than two-thirds of the medicines dispensed by the NHS are generics, yet they cost less than one third of the NHS medicines bill.01 


Teva’s generic products support healthcare systems all around the world

At a global level, Teva has one of the broadest medicines pipelines and widest portfolios in the industry which brings considerable benefits to us in the UK; it puts us in a strong position to bring generic versions of branded medicines to market on the first day of patent protection ending, at a competitive price.

Patients and healthcare providers saved hundreds of billions of pounds in the last decade by choosing Teva’s prescription generic medicines over more expensive brands. 

Our global footprint is critical to ensuring that our patients have access to our medicines. Teva has the largest supply chain of any pharmaceutical company and our network of 37,000 employees and 53 global manufacturing sites work around the clock to make sure our medicines reach patients in over 60 countries across six continents. 

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We are committed to creating quality, affordable medicines for more people in more places around the world. Our scientists are currently developing over 800 generic medicines 07 that aim to increase access to treatments that can improve patients’ health and save healthcare providers billions.

View our Frequently Asked Questions about generic medicines

Learn more

Learn more about Teva's specialty medicines

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    Internal analyses conducted by Global Insights, Access & Technologies estimating number of Teva consumers. Ref 1 dated August 2016; Ref 2 dated April 2019

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    Teva UK - Data on File

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    Teva UK - Data on File

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    P3 Pharmacy "Generics expand their impact" - Accessed February 2023

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    Data source: Global Generic R&D Pipeline as of June 2019

Date of preparation: February 2023
Reference: COB-GB-NP-00050 (V3.0)