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Generic Drug Competition Lowers Prescription Cost to $6 on Average, Study Finds

Generic Pharmaceutical Industry Releases 10th Annual Access and Savings Report Shows Savings from Generic and Biosimilar Medicines at Risk

WASHINGTON DC (July 10, 2018) – Today, the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) released its “Generic Access and Savings Report in the United States 2018,” which finds that 93 percent of generic prescriptions are filled at $20 or less, and that the average co-pay for a generic drug is just $6.06.

Working from data collected in 2017, the report further shows that generic medicines account for nine out of every 10 prescriptions filled in the United States. These findings underscore the significance of the main “Competition” pillar of President Trump’s Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs. The Administration’s plan recognizes that a healthy, competitive generic drug marketplace is a hedge against high brand-name drug prices, but as the access and savings report warns, that market and subsequent patient savings are at risk.

“Six dollars for a generic prescription delivers on the Trump Administration’s goal of lower prices and out-of-pocket costs,” says AAM President and CEO Chester “Chip” Davis, Jr. “That is why we fully support efforts by the White House, HHS, FDA and Congress to end the patent shenanigans and other anti-competitive abuses that brand drug companies use to keep affordable, life-saving generic and biosimilar medicines off the market and out of the hands of patients.”

Today’s access and savings report, the 10th annual release, is produced for AAM by the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, the standard bearer for measuring data, pharmaceutical use and spending in the United States. Topline findings in this study include:

  • Average patient copay for a generic prescription is $6.06
  • 93 percent of generic prescriptions are filled at $20 or less
  • Generic medicines fill nine out of every ten prescriptions
  • Patients fail to fill their prescriptions for brand-name drugs at a rate 2-3 times higher than for generics
  • Generic medicines generated a total of $265 billion in savings
  • Savings for Medicare amounted to $82.7 billion, or $1,952 per enrollee
  • Savings for Medicaid was $40.6 billion, or $568 for every enrollee

In addition to providing the stories of individual patients whose use of affordable generic medicines have kept their health and the rest of life’s essentials within reach, for the first time ever the study breaks down total savings by patient condition, like arthritis, diabetes or heart disease.

HHS is now accepting feedback on its Request for Information (RFI) that seeks input into how best to implement the President’s “American Patients First” plan. AAM’s submission will provide the Administration with a constructive and achievable strategy to further patient savings by enhancing generic competition and developing a robust biosimilars market.

Rachel Schwartz 
202.249.7147 (o)
202.251.8881 (c)


About AAM

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 23 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


Association for Accessible Medicines


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