In 2019, 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 in this report reinforce the outsized importance of the generic industry in delivering lifesaving and health-managing medicines to patients.
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.