Generics yield significant savings, new report indicates

Posted on: Monday, August 06, 2012

Thanks to the use of generic medications that serve as replacements for more expensive name brands, insurance customers have been able to save more than $1 trillion in healthcare expenses, a new report states.

According to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, the American healthcare system saved $1 trillion over the last decade as a direct result of prescribing and using generic pharmaceuticals.

Mark Merritt, PCMA president, said this has done wonders for insurers and those that they cover.

"Generic drugs improve outcomes and lower costs," said Merritt. "Policymakers can increase access and savings in Medicare, Medicaid, and other public programs by fully leveraging [pharmacy benefit managers] tools like flexible formularies and mail-service pharmacy."

Costs relating to pharmaceuticals have been particularly affordable in recent years, the report stated. In 2011, generic medicines yielded 22 percent additional savings versus the previous year, the largest year-over-year increase since 1998. Among newer generic medicines specifically - or those that have become available since 2002 - $481 billion has been saved in the past decade.

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