Will the development of new innovative medicines stop when patents expire and the cost of medicines falls?
No. The patent granted to the innovator company, like all patents, applies for a fixed period and during this time the patent holder can commercially exploit their discovery. After the patent expires, commercial competitors can enter the market. Savings in drug expenditure arise as they produce the equivalent product at a lower cost. The funds saved can in turn be used to fund the reimbursement of new innovative medicines (the so-called Kela-korvaus). The free competition also drives innovation and the discovery of new medicines and pharmaceutical companies producing new innovative medicines may develop their own range of generic medicines to fund their research activity.