Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Report Shows Slower Growth in Health Spending, Generic Medicines Critical to Cost Control, GPhA/IMS Health Data Affirms

Published Online: Monday, January 6, 2014
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PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC (January 6, 2014) — Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued findings that show slower growth in health spending since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This successful cost control is consistent with data demonstrating that savings from generic medicines are at an all-time high, reaching $217 billion in 2012 and $1.2 trillion over the most recent decade, according to the 2013 Report on Generic Drug Savings in the U.S., the fifth annual report compiled by IMS Health on behalf of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA).

Overall national health expenditures grew at an annual rate of 3.7 percent in 2012, marking the fourth consecutive year of low growth, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary reported today. Health spending as a share of gross domestic product fell slightly from 17.3 percent in 2011 to 17.2 percent in 2012. These findings will appear in the January 2014 edition of Health Affairs.

“As 2014 witnesses extensive changes in the health landscape, the role of generic medicines in providing patient savings and access to affordable care is critical and unquestionable,” said Ralph G. Neas, President and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association. “A large proportion of patient and consumer savings is attributable to the increased use of generic medicines, and a decrease in overall spending on prescription drugs. So, it is more important than ever to make sure policy and practice align so that patients, state and federal government, the nation’s business community and others can continue to rely on generic medicines for relief from the high cost of health care.”

For the first time, this year’s GPhA report points to savings for each payer type (insurers, Medicaid, out-of-pocket and other third-party payers) at the retail level. In fact, enrollee savings from generics in Medicare Part D or other federal benefit plans totals $301 billion. For seniors enrolled in Part D, generic savings reached $180 billion since the program began in 2006. Patients paying out-of-pocket have saved $78 billion by purchasing generics over the recent decade.

Click here for the full GPhA 2013 Report on Generic Drug Savings in the U.S.

The full CMS report and press release are available here.
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