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Generic drugs deliver record $254 billion in savings

Staff writer |
The U.S. health care system saved a record $254 billion in 2014 from generic drugs, which amounts to $1.68 trillion over the most recent decade (2005-2014).

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This according to the seventh annual Generic Drug Savings in the United States report compiled by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics on behalf of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA).

Generic drugs saved the U.S. health system $254 billion in 2014. 10-year savings from generics reached $1.68 trillion (2005-2014). The 3.8 billion generic prescriptions are 88% of drugs dispensed in the U.S. but only 28% of the drug costs.

Medicare saved $76.1 billion in 2014 by using generics. That means the program saved an average of $1,923 per enrollee. Medicaid saved $33.5 billion in 2014 with per enrollee savings of $479.

The highest per capita Medicaid savings were accrued by Kentucky, West Virginia, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

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

Generics taken by older adults and seniors account for the majority (80%) of the $254 billion in savings in 2014. Medicines taken by seniors (age 65+) experienced more than one-third of the total savings, or $92 billion, while therapies for older adults (ages 40-64) accrued $111 billion in savings.

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