WASHINGTON — Generic drugs have saved U.S. consumers and the healthcare system $931 billion over the last 10 years, according to a report released Wednesday by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.
Conducted on behalf of the GPhA by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics and IMS Health, the report found that use of generic prescription drugs saved nearly $158 billion in savings in 2010. Much of the savings from the last 10 years has come from newer generics, particularly those introduced since 2001.
"These findings could not have come at a more critical time," GPhA president and CEO Ralph Neas said. "The analysis shows beyond doubt that savings achieved through the use of safe and effective generics deliver a huge win to consumers looking to hold down their healthcare costs. Moreover, the savings provide a winning solution to those in Washington trying to address the sustainability of the nation's healthcare system, as well as the national economy."
The study also found that while generics account for 70% of prescriptions among Medicaid beneficiaries, they account for 78% of all prescriptions. If Medicaid increased generic use by 2%, it could save $1.3 billion per year.
"When the generic drug industry was established by Congress in 1984, it was predicted that generic drugs would save our country $1 billion a year," Neas said. "As this analysis shows, the savings generated by generic prescription drugs are now three times that amount every week."
The report is available here.