Study Finds Generic Savings Totaled a Record $313 Billion in 2019
WASHINGTON, DC (September 29, 2020) — Today, the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), the trade association for generic and biosimilar manufacturers, released the 2020 Access & Savings Report detailing the economic benefit of generic and biosimilar drugs to America’s patients.
According to the report, the U.S. health care system saved $313 billion in 2019 from generics and biosimilar drugs, including $96 billion in Medicare savings and $48.5 billion in savings to Medicaid. At a time when access to reliable, affordable and high-quality prescription medication is more important than ever, generics fill 90% of prescriptions in the United States for only 20% of the cost. The findings reinforce the outsized importance of the generic industry in delivering lifesaving and health-managing medicines to patients.
The title of this year’s report, Securing Our Access & Savings, reflects widespread stakeholder concern 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.
- Medicare recorded $96 billion in generic savings in 2019.
- Medicaid saved $48.5 billion in 2019 through the use of generics.
- 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 U.S. are filled for $20 or less.
- In 2019, the average generic primary copay was $6.97 versus an average primary copay for brand-name drugs of $56.32.
As in the past, this year’s report was developed by analyzing independent research from IQVIA (formerly Quintiles and IMS Health, Inc.) to quantify savings from generic and biosimilar medicines.
In the weeks to come, AAM will be working with patient organizations and key stakeholders to share these findings.
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 only 20 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.