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Generic Drugs Usage In US Can Save $20 Billion – Express Script Survey

by Medindia Content Team on  October 25, 2005 at 6:34 PM Drug News   - G J E 4
Generic Drugs Usage In US Can Save $20 Billion – Express Script Survey
Though there is lot of controversies over the usage of Generic drugs in India and other countries. Now US based company Express Script has done a survey to find out that usage of generic drugs in US could have saved $20 billion in 2004 which would be more in the future. Though it is well known that US policies are also governed by big companies which include pharmaceutical industries, who would not accept this fact but the reality is that billion of dollars can be saved by using generic drugs. On average, a generic drug costs approximately $60 less than a brand name drug. Consumers also pay a lower co-payment for generic medications, saving $10 or more per prescription on average compared to branded medications.
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Express Scripts, Inc. is a US based company which has studied and examined six major drug-therapy classes and was based on a random sample of approximately 3 million individuals. According to a new report by The Express Scripts "2004 Generic Drug Usage Report" also ranked generic drug use and savings opportunities by state, revealing significant variation across the six drug categories used to treat common conditions like stomach ulcers, inflammation, depression, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The company is one of the nation's largest managers of pharmacy benefit plans for employers, governments, unions and health plans.

Generic drugs in the field of treating Gastrointestinal which is a common disease can save up to $5.4 billion nationally. In the anti-cholesterol category, generics are only dispensed 7% of the time nationally. However, drug costs could be reduced an additional $5.1 billion annually if generic fill rates reach the 70% goal projected in the report. The generic fill rate goals utilized in the study are based on an evaluation of clinical efficacy and market dynamics of branded and generic medications.

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Steve Miller, MD, Express Scripts Vice President, Research said, 'We have only scratched the surface in taking advantage of the money-saving potential of clinically sound generic drugs, as additional generics come to market and the use of prescription drugs grows, the opportunity to lower healthcare costs becomes even more significant. Best of all, using more generics simply requires better education and awareness of alternatives, not a big-dollar up-front investment and we consider that $20 billion in generic drug savings in just six therapy classes is the same amount America's community hospitals spend each year on uncompensated care for the uninsured.'

The savings opportunity from increased use of generic drugs has never been greater. More than $50 billion worth of branded drugs will lose patent exclusivity over the next five years. In the next year alone, $11 billion in drug sales are expected to lose patent, with generic alternatives becoming available for at least 15 branded drugs. The largest-selling drug losing exclusivity in 2006 is Zocor, the cholesterol-reducing blockbuster that posted more than $3 billion in U.S. sales in 2004.

(News wise)

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