But the sustainability of generic competition is at risk
WASHINGTON, DC (September 6, 2023) — Today, the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), the leading trade association for generic and biosimilar manufacturers, released its 2023 U.S. Generic & Biosimilar Medicines Savings Report highlighting the value of generic and biosimilar medicines.
According to the analysis, the U.S. health care system, including patients, employers, and taxpayers, saved $408 billion in 2022 by using FDA-approved generic and biosimilar drugs.
More than 90 percent of prescriptions were filled in 2022 with generic or biosimilar medicines, but they accounted for less than 18 percent of total prescription drug spending and less than 2 percent of total U.S. health care spending. Generics also deliver value to patients. Ninety-three percent of generic drugs have copays under $20 (as compared to 59% of brand-name drugs), and their average copay is $6.16 (as compared to $56.12 for brands).
But it is critical not to take these savings for granted, as growing challenges to a sustainable future for generic and biosimilar competition continue to rise.
Amid daily news coverage of prescription drug pricing lies the under-appreciated success story of generic and biosimilar medicines” said David Gaugh, Interim President and CEO of AAM. “This report provides a comprehensive review of the evidence that patients and the health care system rely on this industry to maintain vitality.”
Prescription drug spending is increasingly driven by a small group of biologic and specialty medicines that, although less than 2 percent of all prescriptions, are more than half of all spending. Biosimilars are lower-cost, equally effective versions of those high-cost brand biologics. Biosimilars launch at meaningfully lower prices. The average biosimilar price is more than 50 percent less than the brand price was at the time of biosimilar launch. Moreover, biosimilar competition is forcing brand biologics to reduce their prices. As such, they have saved patients over $9.4 billion dollars in 2022.
Biosimilars result in lower prices and greater patient access” said Craig Burton, Executive Director of the Biosimilars Council. “However, too many patients are being blocked from receiving lower-cost biosimilars.”
Additional highlights from AAM’s 2023 Savings Report include:
- Total Generic and Biosimilar Savings for 2022: $408 billion
- Total Generic and Biosimilar Savings for Past 10 years: more than $2.9 trillion
- Total Generic and Biosimilar Savings in Medicare for 2022: $130 Billion
- Total Generic and Biosimilar Savings in Commercial Plans for 2022: $194 Billion
- Generics represent 90% of prescriptions filled but only 17.5% of prescription drug spending
- Generics represent less than 2% of all health care spending
As in the past, this year’s report was developed utilizing independent research from IQVIA, which quantified how much money America's patients and the U.S. health care system are saving due to the use of generic and biosimilar alternatives.
For media inquiries, contact the Communications department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAM is driven by the belief that access to safe, quality, effective medicine has a tremendous impact on a person’s life and the world around them. Generic and biosimilar medicines improve people’s lives, improving society and the economy in turn. AAM represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic industry. Generic pharmaceuticals are 90 percent of prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. but less than 18 percent of total drug spending.
About the Biosimilars Council
The Biosimilars Council, a division of the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), works to ensure a positive environment for patient access to biosimilar medicines. The Biosimilars Council is a leading source for information about the safety and efficacy of more affordable alternatives to costly brand biologic medicines. Areas of focus include public and health expert education, strategic partnerships, government affairs, legal affairs and regulatory policy. More information is available at www.biosimilarscouncil.org.