Is Your State Protecting Generic Drug Savings for Patients and Taxpayers?
GPhA is working with state policymakers all over the country to protect patients and taxpayers from policies that would jeopardize access to more affordable generic prescription medicines. Legislation that limits generic drug competition is counterproductive and puts patient and system savings at risk.
Legislators should embrace initiatives that encourage generic and biosimilar competition instead of measures that chill one of the few proven sources of health cost relief for millions of patients and taxpayers.
Generic medicines generate hundreds of billions of dollars in savings. This is a foundation to build upon, not to put at risk. GPhA welcomes the chance to work with policymakers, regulators and stakeholders all across the country to increase generic and biosimilar competition and bring more treatments within reach for millions of Americans.
Click here to learn more about generic savings in your state.
Four Things You Should Know About Generic Drug Prices
1. Generics are 89% of prescriptions in the U.S. but only 27% of the costs.
Eleven percent of the prescriptions – brand and specialty drugs – are responsible for 73% of drug costs. One percent of prescriptions are specialty medicines (including costly biologics) responsible for more than 30% of the costs. There are estimates that spending on specialty medicines will soar beyond 50% by 2018. Generic costs overall are going down and generic savings are going up. This is happening while the share of generic prescriptions in the U.S. is increasing.
2. A “one-size-fits-all” approach to drug pricing policies places these important patient and system savings at risk.
Policymakers must recognize the fundamental differences between the brand and generic prescription drug industries. Generic drugs are manufactured in high volume with low margin profits. GPhA agrees that action must be taken to lower drug costs for millions of patients. However, crafting policy based on outliers and soundbites could have the unintended consequences of limiting generic competition and driving up costs. It’s important to avoid measures that put the industry’s demonstrated record of patient access and savings at risk.
3. Generic pricing normally experiences deflation
Year after year, generic medicines experience price deflation, which means that overall products end the year less expensive than when they started. This is unique to the generic drug industry. Some products experience fluctuations due to market conditions, availability of ingredients and other factors. When the federal government looked at exceptions to generic price deflation, additional analysis revealed that average increase was sixty-five cents.
4. Increasing generic competition means prescription drug prices come down rapidly and dramatically.
The smart approach to lowering drug costs is one that that encourages generic and biosimilar competition, and does not chill a proven market that is performing for patients, payers and taxpayers. Generic drugs generate hundreds of billions of dollars in savings annually. This is a foundation to build upon, not put at risk through misguided policies.