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    AAM Report on Generics Finds High Brand Abandonment Rate

    Abandonment rates for brand name drugs are 266% higher than for generics, according to a new report. Patients are that much more likely to not purchase a brand name prescription that they requested than a generic prescription.

    The report is the 2017 Generic Drug Access and Savings Report, commissioned by the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) and conducted by third-party researchers. It also found that generic drugs have saved the U.S. health-care system $1.67 trillion over the last decade. In 2016, generic drugs saved the U.S. health-care system $253 billion, AAM found.

    Costs play a significant role in abandonment rates, the report found. Ninety percent of generic copays are under $20, compared to 39% of branded copays.

    Chart courtesy of the Association for Accessible MedicinesChart courtesy of the Association for Accessible Medicines“It is not news that branded prices—especially for branded specialty medications—are high. Price sensitivity for patients with regard to their prescriptions is also well-documented,” Allen Goldberg, Vice President of Communications for AAM, told Drug Topics.

    Generics prescriptions also continued their rapid advance in the United States, and— overall—their costs are declining, according to the report.

    “New data shows almost 90% of prescriptions are filled by generics, but the costs associated with those medicines have decreased to just 26% of all spending on drugs,” said Chester “Chip” Davis, Jr., President and CEO of AAM.  Last year, generics accounted for 27% of spending on all drugs.

    “A priority for our national conversation around drug pricing should be how to ensure generics continue delivering such great access and savings to patients,” Davis said.

    In addition, Medicare savings from generics reached $77 billion in 2016, representing an average savings of $1,883 per enrollee. Medicaid savings from generics reached $37.9 billion, or savings of $512 per enrollee.

    The greatest savings from generic drugs were found in mental health ($44 billion), hypertension ($29 billion) and cholesterol ($28 billion) treatments.

    On average, the use of generic medicines saved each state an average of $4.9 billion in 2016, compared to the price of the relevant branded medicines. “This means that state Medicaid savings averaged $744 million and state Medicare savings averaged $1.5 billion per state,” AAM wrote in the report.

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