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Generic medicines saved US healthcare system more than USD 250 billion in 2014 alone

Generic medicines saved the US healthcare system a record USD 254 billion in 2014, according to a new report compiled by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics on behalf of the US Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA).

Chip Davis, President and CEO of the GPhA, said:  “The facts are irrefutable, generic drugs drive enormous health care savings.

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

Key findings from  the report:

  • Generic drugs saved the US healthcare system USD 254 billion in 2014 alone – 15 billion more than in 2013.
  • Total 10-year savings from generics reached USD 1.68 trillion (2005-2014).
  • Generic medicines now represent 88% of all drugs dispensed in the US – but only 28% of the total cost.
  • Medicare (the US health insurance system for the elderly) saved USD 76.1 billion in 2014 thanks to the use of generics. That means the program saved an average of USD 1923 per person enrolled.
  • Medicaid (the US health insurance system for lower-income citizens) saved USD 33.5 billion in 2014, with per enrollee savings of USD 479.

The report also documents savings from generics in prominent therapy areas. Notably, the most savings from generic drugs were found in the areas of mental health (USD 38 billion), hypertension (USD 27.9 billion) and cholesterol (USD 26.8 billion).

GPhA also cites the 2014 Express Scripts Drug Trend report, which estimates that the average price of a generic drug in the US had dropped to roughly half what it was in 2008.

Download the full 2015 IMS cost savings report (PDF)