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WASHINGTON — A new study indicates that the public bears "unnecessary expense" when generic drugs aren't used.
The study, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that prescribing branded drugs when generics are available "generates unnecessary medical expenditures, the costs of which are borne by the public in the form of higher copayments, increased health insurance costs, and higher Medicare and Medicaid expenses," the authors, led by Harvard Medical School professor Eric Campbell, wrote.
"The JAMA Internal Medicine study demonstrates that we are still leaving savings on the table that could be achieved by increasing the use of generic drugs," said Ralph Neas, president and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, an industry lobbying group. "The use of safe and effective generic versions of brandname drugs currently saves consumers and the U.S. healthcare system $1 billion every other day, a total of $192 billion in 2011. But, as significant as these savings are, there still is room for improvement, and we must realize that generics are part of the solution to sustaining affordable healthcare in America."