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AARP Brand Drug Pricing Report Reinforces Need for More Generic Competition

Contact: Steve Arnoff 202.249.7113

WASHINGTON, DC (Dec. 14, 2016) – A new AARP study showed that branded pharmaceutical prices soared by 15.5% in the past year and notes that the average annual cost for one brand name drug used on a chronic basis now exceeds $5,800.In contrast, AARP’s similar study of generic medicines found that generic prices for 280 widely used drugs dropped by 4%, with some medicines dropping by as much as 30%. The earlier AARP study on generics identified brand and specialty drugs as key drivers of growing costs while noting that generic drug costs continue to decline. That report also showed that an average senior with three prescriptions who used a generic alternative stood to save as much as $850 per year.

The juxtaposition of the two reports demonstrates AARP’s observation that, “the market conditions and pricing behavior for brand name and generic drugs are quite different. “

“America’s seniors know firsthand that generics cut their drug prices and help them keep more of their own money. Generics also save patients and public programs billions of dollars each week. This study shows that seniors and our entire healthcare system would greatly benefit from more generic competition. GPhA urges the new Administration and policymakers to take immediate action towards this goal,” said Chip Davis, President and CEO, Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA).

GPhA supports five policy prescriptions, actions that policymakers can take today, to increase generic competition. AARP’s study comes on the heels of multiple expert studies with a primary theme: Generic drug prices are decreasing while brand drug prices are rising. And, generic competition helps lower drug costs.

These findings and more can be found in GPhA’s 2016 study on generic savings which found that annual savings from generic prescription drugs increased 328 percent from 2005-2016. Other findings include:

• Generic medicines generated $227 billion in 2015 savings
• $1.46 trillion 10-year savings (2006-2015)
• Medicare savings: $67.6 billion in 2015; $1,737 savings per enrollee
• Medicaid savings: $32.7 billion; $450 savings per enrollee

Read more about generic savings and policies that can increase generic competition at

About GPhA
GPhA represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic industry. Generic pharmaceuticals fill 89 percent of the prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. but consume just 27 percent of the total drug spending. Follow us on Twitter (@gpha) and Facebook for the latest updates.