Generics saved US healthcare system and patients US$1 trillion Posted 10/08/2012

According to a new report from the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), released on 2 August 2012, generics saved the US healthcare system and patients US$1 billion every other day―totaling US$193 billion in 2011 and more than US$1 trillion over the last 10 years (2002–2011).

Savings from generics in 2011 were 22% higher than in 2010. That is perhaps not surprising when taking into account the fact that during 2011, nearly 80% of the four billion prescriptions written in the US were dispensed as generics, but they accounted for only 27% of the total drug spending.

Despite the huge increase in savings from generics the GPhA report also finds that this has not affected innovation, with year-on-year increases in the registration of new medicines since the implementation of the Hatch-Waxman Act in 1984.

Most of the savings in 2011 can be attributed to generics of central nervous system drugs such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants, and cardiovascular drugs, which accounted for 57% of the annual savings.

Savings from newer generic medicines―those that have entered the market since 2002―also continue to increase exponentially, totalling US$481 billion over the past 10 years.

Generics drugmaker Mylan applauded the report, with Mylan CEO, Ms Heather Bresch saying that ‘expanded use of generic drugs has proved an effective way to provide greater access to needed medicines and reduce costs for patients, payors and governments.’ Adding that ‘Mylan urges FDA, the White House and members of Congress to encourage approval of, and earlier access to, interchangeable biogenerics. Only then will American patients continue to reap the full benefits of expanded access to high quality, more affordable generic medicines in the form of biogeneric drugs.’

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Source: GPhA, Mylan

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