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Study reveals $20 billion in untapped generic drug savings

atives, not a big-dollar up-front investment."

"Consider that $20 billion in generic drug savings in just six therapy classes is the same amount America's community hospitals spend each year on uncompensated care for the uninsured," added Miller.

The savings opportunity from increased use of generic drugs has never been greater. More than $50 billion worth of branded drugs will lose patent exclusivity over the next five years. In the next year alone, $11 billion in drug sales are expected to lose patent, with generic alternatives becoming available for at least 15 branded drugs. The largest-selling drug losing exclusivity in 2006 is Zocor, the cholesterol-reducing blockbuster that posted more than $3 billion in U.S. sales in 2004.

On average, a generic drug costs approximately $60 less than a brand name drug. Consumers also pay a lower co-payment for generic medications, saving $10 or more per prescription on average compared to branded medications.

Potential generic drug savings across six drug therapy classes*

TOTAL POTENTIAL SAVINGS $20 billion
*Source: 2004 Generic Drug Usage Report, Express Scripts, Inc.

State-By-State Variation

The Express Scripts study found that Massachusetts, Oregon and New Mexico had the highest generic fill rates, at 56% each. The lowest generic fill rates were in New Jersey (41%) and New York (43%). Southern states, including Texas, Louisiana and Florida, opted for generics for fewer than 46% of all prescriptions filled in 2004.

The states with the greatest savings opportunity from generics are California and Texas, at $1.5 billion each, and New York, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, at $1 billion each. Possible explanations for the variations in generic fill rates include divergence in prescribing patterns, state regulations, differences in disease prevalence and varying use of drug-benefit programs that encourage greater use of generics.

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Contact: Steve Littlejohn
slittlejohn@express-scripts.com
314-702-7556
Express Scripts, Inc.
25-Oct-2005


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