Generic drugs cut costs by $254B in U.S. last year

A new report sponsored by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) shows that the health care system in the U.S. saved $254 billion in 2014 by using generic drugs and, that considered over the decade to 2014, the figure reached $1.64 trillion.

The report was compiled by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics for GPhA.

"The facts are irrefutable, generic drugs drive enormous health care savings," said Chip Davis, president and CEO of GPhA, in a release.

Chip Davis

"This new report reinforces that generic drugs are a critical part of any solution to rising costs for patients, payers and for the entire healthcare system. Safe, effective and more affordable generic medicines mean increased access for the millions who rely on these life-saving therapies."

Other key findings in the report showed that 3.8 billion generic prescriptions comprised 88% of drugs dispensed in the U.S., but accounted for only 28% of the drug costs.

The report also showed the country's federal Medicare system saved $76.1 billion in 2014 by using generics and the state level Medicaid system saved $33.5 billion in 2014 with the highest per capita Medicaid savings being in Kentucky, West Virginia, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The report found that the most savings from generic drugs were in mental health ($38 billion), hypertension ($27.9 billion) and cholesterol ($26.8 billion) treatments.

"GPhA will continue advocating for efforts that grow savings and eliminate barriers to patient access," Davis said in the release.

"As policymakers look for solutions to rising healthcare costs, we look forward to working with Congress, the FDA, the patient and provider communities, and stakeholders from all corners of the supply chain to embrace policies that support generic manufacturers' ability to provide this remarkable level of savings."

- here's the release