GPhA applauds new IMS Institute report
WASHINGTON — The main trade group for the generic drug industry is heralding a new cost analysis by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics showing that generic drugs can reduce co-payments by up to 80%.
According to the analysis, contained in the report “The Use of Medicines in the United States: Review of 2010,” the average co-payment for a generic drug was $6.06 per prescripton last year, compared with $23.65 to $34.77 for preferred and nonpreferred brand drugs.
“As this IMS analysis shows, having access to [a Food and Drug Administration]-approved generic version of a brand drug can cut the average co-pay for that medicine by more than 80%,” GPhA executive director Bob Billings said. “These are big savings for the hundreds of millions of Americans who have prescription drug coverage in their health insurance plans.”
Billings called for increase funding for the FDA’s Office of Generic Drugs to allow generics to get to market faster. Currently, the agency has a backlog of more than 2,000 applications, with as many as 365 of those applications related to new generic versions of branded drugs.
NACDS launches mobile app for Annual Meeting
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Tuesday the launch of its 2011 Annual Meeting mobile Web-based application, which is designed to enhance attendees’ efficiency and experience at the NACDS Annual Meeting from April 30 to May 3 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
In addition, the NACDS mobile website, m.NACDS.org, has been updated with information about the Annual Meeting and all 2011 NACDS events.
First introduced for the 2010 NACDS Annual Meeting, the app has been an important tool for applying today’s technology to NACDS’ meeting format. NACDS also created similar apps for both the 2010 Marketplace Conference and Pharmacy & Technology Conference. Unveiled earlier this year, m.NACDS.org serves as a "guide on the go" to NACDS meetings, advocacy and public relations. This year’s Annual Meeting attendees will find an updated schedule, floor plan, list of participants and other information about the upcoming event on the mobile website. The site specifically is designed for ease of use on any smartphone with a Web browser.
The NACDS mobile app is compatible with most smartphone platforms, including iPhone, Droid and Blackberry devices, and can be downloaded for free on the Annual Meeting website: NACDSannual.org.
"NACDS is committed to bringing a cutting-edge approach to its member programs and services," stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. "NACDS continues to leverage technology to continuously enhance the meeting experience."
IMS Institute: Rx drug spend experiences slower growth
PARSIPPANY, N.J. — U.S. spending on drugs grew 2.3% to $307.4 billion in 2010, according to a new report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, part of industry research firm IMS Health.
The growth significantly was lower than the 5.1% growth seen in 2009, and the volume of prescription drugs consumed overall also rose at historically low levels. The report, “The Use of Medicines in the United States: Review of 2010,” attributed the slower growth to a combination of increased use of generics, loss of patent protection for branded drugs, decreased demand, a 4.2% decrease in the number of doctors’ office visits with a result in fewer new therapy starts and less spending on new drugs, which in part resulted from problems in the economy.
Of the almost 4 billion prescriptions filled through retail channels, chain drug stores were the top choice, thanks to convenience, their acquisitions of independent drug stores and the availability of generic drugs. Overall, chain drug stores increased their market share by 0.5%.
The top five therapy classes last year were cancer drugs, which saw $22.3 billion in spending; respiratory drugs, at $19.3 billion; lipid regulators, at $18.7 billion; diabetes drugs, at $16.9 billion; and antipsychotic drugs, at $16.1 billion. Spending growth ranged from 0.9% for lipid regulators to 12.5% for diabetes drugs, though despite having the highest sales, cancer drugs grew by only 3.5%. Spending on branded drugs decreased by 0.7%, while spending on generics increase by 4.5% for branded generics and 21.7% for unbranded generics. Generics now account for 78% of all retail prescriptions dispensed.
“It became apparent in 2010 that the healthcare landscape is shifting in significant ways,” IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics research development director Michael Kleinrock said. “Physicians and patients have more therapy options than ever, and yet spending on medicines is rising at historic lows with the impact of patent expiries and reduced patient activity. The long-term effect on patient health and few doctor office visits and new therapy starts is unclear and requires closer attention.”