Americans more likely than others to prefer generics, study finds
RHINEBECK, N.Y. — Consumers in the United States are more likely than those in three other countries to say they prefer to receive generic drugs over branded drugs, according to a new study.
The study, by Phoenix Marketing International, included 810 consumers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and France. Among respondents, 37% of American consumers expressed a preference for generics when they were available, compared with 22% of those in France, 12% in the United Kingdom and 21% in Canada.
Meanwhile, 29% of the French said the quality of generics was not as high as branded drugs, compared with 14% of Americans and 11% of Britons and Canadians. Seven percent of Americans said they would feel uncomfortable taking a generic drug for a serious illness, compared with 16% of French, 21% of Britons and 13% of Canadians. Americans were also most likely to say they had no concerns about taking generic drugs.
But despite concerns about generics among French consumers, generic use in France was the highest, with 73% saying they had taken a generic drug in the past two years, compared with 70% of Americans, 54% of Canadians and 36% of Britons.
Source: Phoenix Marketing International
Ala. GOP representative proposes stopgap bill to fund FDA
NEW YORK — A Republican congressman from Alabama has proposed a stopgap bill that would fund the Food and Drug Administration through the middle of December or until the government shutdown ends, though it is unlikely to pass in the Senate.
Last week, Rep. Robert Aderholt proposed the joint resolution, designed to ensure that the agency continues to receive funding until Dec. 15 or until the shutdown ends. However, Senate majority leader Harry Reid has said he will oppose such short-term funding bills. The federal government has remained shut down since Oct. 1, when Congress and the White House failed to reach an agreement on a fiscal year 2014 budget; Republicans in Congress have insisted that any budget agreement be tied to a delay or defunding of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
As part of its contingency staffing plan announced at the beginning of this month for the shutdown, the Department of Health and Human Services said the FDA would continue "limited" activities related to user-fee funded programs — such as reviews of generic drug applications — and such vital activities as consumer protection and high-risk recalls.
Study finds rise in medical, prescription spending amid recession
WASHINGTON — Consumers paid more for prescriptions as the country’s economy recovered from the recession, according to a new study.
According to the study, conducted by researchers at the Health Care Cost Institute and published in this month’s issue of the journal Health Affairs, per-person spending on prescriptions rose by 3.3% between 2007 and 2011. The study was based on analysis of spending by 40 million people for each year studied, using data provided by health insurers Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare.
Overall, spending per person on prescriptions and medical care rose by 4.9%, faster than the economy. The amount that consumers paid out of pocket for prescription drugs and devices remained the same during the study period as insurers covered a larger portion of prescription costs.
"Overall, spending growth may have slowed down after the recession, but consumers, employers and insurers have had different experiences," lead study author and HCCI research director Carolina Herrera said. "After the recession, consumers didn’t see their out-of-pocket medical spending groth slow, but medical spending growth for employers and health plans did slow."