The Savings Add Up for Patients

Generic and Biosimilar Savings for Asthma, Heart Disease and Other Common Conditions

In 2020, safe, effective, FDA-approved generic and biosimilar prescription medicines generated $338 billion in savings for U.S. patients and the health care system as a whole. No matter what condition you treat with generics or biosimilars, you can take these medicines with confidence. Here are condition-specific examples.

View all Condition Fact Sheets


Allergy and Asthma: $11.0 Billion Per Year

I don’t have a lot of time or money to spare, says asthma patient Raeanne, 33, so I tell the doctors to just give me the generic because they work the same, and it’s way less than half the cost of the brand-name. I’ve been able to use the savings to go back to school. Raeanne isn’t alone. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, there are 25 million Americans with asthma. Generic medicines ease their symptoms and allow them to lead fuller lives. View Allergy and Asthma Fact Sheet.

Arthritis: $541 Million per Year

Generic savings for arthritis patients over the past 10 years total $2.3 billion. Affecting more than 54 million adults in the U.S., arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the nation. Generic drugs can reduce the inflammation commonly associated with many varieties of the disease. Nearly half of arthritis patients have diabetes, and these patients saved $881 million by taking generic medicines in 2020. View Arthritis Fact Sheet.

Crohn's & Colitis: $704 Million per Year

According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), which include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affect as many as 1.6 million Americans. Generic and biosimilar drugs can reduce the inflammation, allowing patients to lead more active, fulfilling lives. Thanks to her biosimilar medication, Eileen, 28, of New York City has musical dreams not stopped by Crohn’s disease.

View Crohn’s & Colitis Fact Sheet.

Heart Disease: $43.9 Billion per Year

Heart disease—including heart failure, angina, arrhythmia, valvular heart disease and coronary artery disease—is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Generic cardiac drugs help patients live longer, fuller lives. Many heart disease patients also take generic medications for other conditions: 81% have hypertension, for which they saved $9.3 billion in 2020; and 69% have high cholesterol, for which they saved $30.3 billion in 2020. View Heart Disease Fact Sheet.

Thyroid Disease: $20.1 Million per Year

My two generic prescription drugs, each only $2 per month, help me stay active, says Rich, 75, a thyroid patient in Connecticut. Everybody understands that kind of savings when they’re on a fixed income. The American Thyroid Association estimates that 20 million Americans have hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism or other thyroid conditions. Generic drugs treat the conditions and the accompanying symptoms. View Thyroid Disease Fact Sheet.

AAM and the Biosimilars Council remain committed to working with our partners to ensure their collective communities of tens of millions of American patients understand the tremendous value that generics and biosimilars provide.


Sara Skubikowski

By Sara Skubikowski, AAM Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
Published on March 24, 2022


Association for Accessible Medicines


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