New Consumer Price Index Data Shows Drop in Drug Costs

Published Online: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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WASHINGTON, DC (June 19, 2013) — The Department of Labor yesterday released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) monthly data for May 2013, noting a .7 percent drop in drug costs, the biggest one-month drop on record.

This data coincides with IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics findings released in May that show the first drop in consumers’ pharmaceutical spending in more than 50 years. IMS data shows a one percent drop in spending on prescription medicine in 2012, to $325.8 billion, the first decline since 1957.

“Both of these findings point to the importance of the billions of dollars in consumer savings from generic medicines,” said Ralph G. Neas, President and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association. “Today’s CPI report on drug cost reductions reinforces the need to preserve every possible avenue for generic manufacturers to bring affordable generic medicines to market, including patent settlements with consideration. The findings are particularly timely in light of the recent Supreme Court decision on FTC v. Actavis, which provides a lawful pathway for companies to resolve disputes through settlements.”

The Court’s ruling will require generic companies to take on a greater administrative burden to pursue a patent challenge. GPhA’s hope is that the implementation of this ruling in the courts will be efficient and will not reduce the number of challenges under the Hatch-Waxman law, which has proven a reliable path to ensure patients access to cost saving generics as soon as possible.

Generic medicines are an undeniable success story. Currently, generics make up 84 percent of the market and have saved consumers more than a trillion dollars in the last 10 years alone. Savings from generics since 2008 are nearly $500 billion and reached $193 billion in 2011.


Department of Labor: Consumer Price Index (CPI), May 2013

Bloomberg article: Generic Drugs Pressure Prices

IMS Health report: Declining Medicine Use and Costs: For Better or Worse?

GPhA press release: Supreme Court Ruling Upholds Patent Settlements With Consideration as Valid Means to Generic Access for Patients

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