Featuring data from IQVIA, 2021 U.S. Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Savings Report reveals continued savings growth through lower-cost generic and biosimilar competition.
The report breaks savings down by state, age, payer and common medical conditions and provides in-depth data at a moment when policymakers are contemplating measures to reduce drug prices for American patients. Here are five highlights:
$338 billion: U.S. health care system savings
Up from the 2019 analysis which reported $315 billion in generic and biosimilar savings, this figure indicates that the savings have continued for patients and the health system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
90%: Portion of U.S. prescriptions filled by generic drugs
However, those prescriptions accounted for only 18% of the country’s spending on prescription drugs. In other words, costly brand-name products account for the bulk of pharmaceutical spending. The generic and biosimilars industry brings costs down.
$6: The average generic copay
The amount paid at the pharmacy counter is what the patient’s we serve are concerned with. That price can discourage a patient from taking her medicines. Fortunately, 93% of the time, the copay for a generic prescription is under $20. (The average out-of-pocket cost for brand-name drugs is more than 8 times higher at $63.)
$7.9 billion: biosimilars savings
Notwithstanding challenges and slower-than-hoped adoption of biosimilars, new biosimilar launches and improved utilization led biosimilar savings in 2020 to increase by more than three times the $2.5 billion saved in 2019.
$106.9 billion: Medicare savings
Medicare savings on generics and biosimilars is good news for seniors and taxpayers. Medicaid savings came to $53.7 billion in 2020. AAM publishes these findings annually to remind policymakers, health care professionals and advocates and the public of the vital role that safe, effective, FDA-approved generics and biosimilars play in health of our nation.
Tens of millions of Americans entrust their health to generics and biosimilars. These savings are the major component of an often-overlooked public health success story.