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Photos: Generic Pharmaceuticals Saved $734 Billion over Last Decade
Date:5/7/2009

ew at a double-digit annual pace, with the highest growth rate coming in 2008 when the savings topped $121 billion, a full 20% ahead of the prior year.

The higher growth rates seen during the more recent years of the study were driven by two factors:

  • an increase in the overall percentage of generic utilization from 61% entering 2006 to 69% by the close of 2008; and
  • the loss of patent protection by several brand-name blockbusters, including Pravachol(R), Ambien(R), Fosamax(R), Zoloft(R) and Zocor(R).

The analysis also found that generics introduced prior to 1999, generated approximately $552 billion of the $734 billion in total savings. Savings generated by generic products introduced between 1999 and 2008 provided an additional $182 billion in savings during the period, with nearly half of this coming from 2006 to 2008. Approximately 60% of the $121 billion in savings achieved in 2008 came from generics approved over the past 10 years.

Treatments in the therapeutic categories of metabolism, cardiovascular, anti-infectives, and central nervous system (CNS) have experienced the highest growth in savings as a result of generic utilization. More than 57% of the total savings between 1999 and 2008, totaling some $420 billion, came from the cardiovascular and CNS categories. Generic metabolism and anti-infective drugs combined to account for an additional 19% of the savings. In total, these four therapeutic categories resulted in overall savings of $561 billion, or 76% of total savings.

"To give some context to the magnitude of the savings created by generic pharmaceuticals over the past decade, one needs only consider that the $734 billion exceeds the cost of the Troubled Assets Relief Program approved last fall, and is nearly the cost of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act approved in February," Jaeger noted.


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SOURCE Generic Pharmaceutical Association
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