The Persistent Value of Generics

Apr 12, 2016
The use of brand-name medications when clinically-equivalent generics are available results in billions of dollars in pharmacy waste each year in the U.S.

Pills

The average price of brand name drugs increased 16.2% in 2015 and 98.2% since 2011. And yet, more than half of the prescription drugs available today have a generic option for consumers.

A generic drug is a chemically equivalent, lower-cost version of a brand-name drug. Each generic medication dispensed in the U.S. must meet the same strict standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for quality and therapeutic efficacy. Additionally, generics must meet rigorous testing standards from the FDA to ensure bioequivalence to brand-name medications prior to approval.

In other words, generic medications by law must contain the same active ingredients and work the same way in the human body.

The use of brand-name medications when clinically-equivalent generics are available results in billions of dollars in pharmacy waste each year in the U.S.

While it’s true that the price for some generics have increased, on the whole, generic medications continue to deliver significant cost savings by providing cost-effective alternatives to brand name medications. Generic prices for the most commonly used drugs decreased 20.7% from 2014 to 2015.

To see a list of generic equivalent drugs, click here.

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Lab Staff
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