WASHINGTON — In the wake of an Oct. 21 blogpost on Health Affairs, “The $500 Billion Medicare Slowdown: A Story About Part D,” Ralph Neas, president and CEO of the Generic Pharmacuetical Association, issued the following statement.
The article "confirms the central role that generic drugs have played in lowering healthcare costs in Medicare," Neas wrote. He continued, "According to the authors, ‘Lower Part D spending primarily stems from the 'patent cliff' — a number of blockbuster brand-name drugs that have lost patent protection, paving the way for cheaper generic competitors...’ This new analysis follows a recent report by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which noted in January 2014 that reduced growth rates for prescription drug spending were driven largely by a slowdown in overall prices paid for medicines as generic versions became available for costly brand drugs.
"GPhA and its member companies will continue to prioritize efforts that increase and expedite access to lower cost medicines. Generic medicines are critical to a sustainable healthcare system and the generic drug industry is unwavering in its commitment to delivering safe, more affordable generic medicines to patients who need them.
"Further, we look forward to the next frontier of affordable medicines, biosimilars, which will create billions in additional savings. In fact, a recent study by Express Scripts estimates that over 10 years, the United States would save $250 billion if just the 11 likeliest biosimilars would enter the market.”