GPhA Report Finds Generic Drugs Saved U.S. Health System $254 Billion Last Year
Generic drugs have been touted as a way to help the U.S. healthcare system save money. A new report gives a perspective on just how large that savings is.
According to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, generic drugs saved the U.S. health system $254 billion last year. When looking over the last decade, that figure reached almost $1.7 trillion. The use of generics continues to rise, and accounts for 3.8 billion of the 4.3 billion prescriptions dispensed each year —roughly 88 percent.
However, there are potential roadblocks that could hinder future savings, according to the report, including an application backlog. GPhA is calling on the FDA to review the more than 3,800 pending generic applications in a timely manner.
That request may already have been answered, as agency officials reported last month that the agency is ahead of schedule in reducing the generics backlog; of the 5,707 applications received before Oct. 1, 2014, 3,810 are under review.
In addition, the report urges Congress to look into what GPhA calls brand drugmaker abuses of certain FDA programs — such as the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies — that keeps pharmaceutical prices high. The group says this misuse costs $5.4 billion annually. Congress also can encourage the FDA to work on regulations and policies to speed access to biosimilars.
The full report is available here: www.fdanews.com/11-05-15-gpha.pdf.