AAM report: Generic savings totaled $313B in 2019

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AAM report: Generic savings totaled $313B in 2019

By Sandra Levy - 09/29/2020

The U.S. healthcare system saved $313 billion in 2019 due to the availability of low-cost generics, including $96 billion in Medicare savings, and $48.5 billion in savings to Medicaid. That is according to findings from the 12th annual edition of the Association for Accessible Medicine 2019 Access & Savings Report.

The report, subtitled, “Securing Our Access & Savings," builds on independent research from IQVIA to quantify how much money American patients and the U.S. healthcare system are saving because of generic and biosimilar alternatives to brand-name prescription and biologic medications. The report also reflects widespread stakeholder concerns about availability of essential medicine during the pandemic, and the resilience of the industry in managing the global supply chain to deliver drugs without significant disruption.

“Even in the face of unprecedented challenges arising from a global pandemic, essential employees of generic and biosimilar manufacturers have been the unseen and unsung heroes, stepping up to deliver for America’s patients while continuing to alleviate economic pressures on the U.S. health care system,” said Dan Leonard, president and CEO of AAM. “Whether it be sedatives required for ventilation, steroids for treatment of COVID-19 or other critical applications, generic manufacturers continue to deliver essential drugs that will help save lives and serve as a bridge to a vaccine.”

Additional highlights from the 2020 Access & Savings report include:

  • In 2019, savings from use of biosimilar drugs reached $2.2 billion;
  • California had the largest savings of any state, with $28.3 billion. New York was second at $25.6 billion in savings;
  • Generic medicines account for 90% of the prescriptions filled in the United States but are responsible for only 20% of total spending on prescription medicine;
  • Approximately 92% of prescriptions in the United States are filled for $20 or less; and
  • In 2019, the average generic primary copay was $6.97 versus an average primary copay for brand-name drugs of $56.32.

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