Substituting Generic Drugs For Brand-Name Drugs More Often Could Save Billions Of Dollars

The San Diego Union-Tribune (5/9, Fikes) reports that a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that insurers and patients “could safely save many billions of dollars annually by swapping out a more expensive drug for a less expensive generic in the same class of drugs.” The researchers suggest going “beyond the common practice of substituting a generic drug for a brand-name drug with the identical active ingredient” because “in many instances, a generic with a different chemical makeup, prescribed for the same disease, could work just as well.”

STAT (5/9, Silverman) reports that consumers paid “nearly one-third of those additional costs” from prescribing brand-name drugs over generics “through out-of-pocket payments.” Researchers found that “most of the extra spending was for widely prescribed medicines, including drugs used to treat high cholesterol; schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; depression; acid reflux; and high blood pressure.”

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— “,” Bradley J. Fikes, San Diego Union-Tribune, May 9, 2016.

Posted in In The News.