FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin

Generic Use in Part D Higher Than Outside Part D

Aug. 9, 2007

The rate of generic drug use in Medicare Part D by the end of 2006 was slightly higher than the rate outside the program, according to a new IMS Health report.

By the final week of the program’s inaugural year, 58 percent of Part D prescriptions were for generics, while 36 percent were for brand drugs and 6 percent were for branded generics. Among other U.S. retail prescriptions, generics accounted for 56 percent, brands held 33 percent and branded generics represented 11 percent, according to the report.

The report also found that Part D beneficiaries filled approximately 486 million prescriptions last year, which was roughly 15 percent of all prescriptions filled in 2006.

Drugs for treating hypertension accounted for 25 percent of all Part D prescriptions last year, according to the report. Lipid regulators for treating cholesterol and antidepressants were the second and third most described classes of drugs within the program, accounting for 7.4 and 5.1 percent of Part D prescriptions, respectively.