Prescription for Sequestration Pain: Generics Industry Offers Congress Six Solutions to Save Tens of Billions, Reduce Debt

Published Online: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Follow Pharmacy_Times:

PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC (March 13, 2013) — The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), which represents the world’s leading generic drug manufacturers and suppliers, sent a letter to both houses of Congress outlining six key ways to lower government spending through a simple and proven means: by increasing the use of life-saving and affordable generic medicines.

“So many ways to cut costs require enormous sacrifice,” said Ralph G. Neas, President and CEO of GPhA. “But generics have proven that drug cost reductions are available while maintaining safety, efficacy and improved health outcomes. We can offer patients quality, FDA-approved medicines at a fraction of the price, and save billions in the process. Over the past decade, generic medicines have saved the health care system more than $1 trillion. In 2011 alone, the use of generic prescription drugs saved consumers, patients and the U.S. health care system $193 billion -- a rate of $1 billion every other day. If we work together to maintain those gains, and to increase the use of generics, we can save billions more.”

The letter includes a mix of approaches, including positive steps like providing incentives for states that promote the use of generics, and encouraging generic use by key populations, such as those in government programs with low utilization rates, and among people with chronic conditions. It also calls for removing barriers to generic competition by prohibiting both state-level “carve-outs” that provide unnecessary preferences for brand medicines and the abuse of federal-level safety measures to delay competition. The letter also recommends limiting the ability for biotech companies to extend their exclusive place in the market through “evergreening.” Specifically, the letter outlines six ways to maintain or grow the use of generic medications, including:

  1. Encourage generic drug use for the Medicare Low Income Subsidy (LIS) population;

  2. Close the loopholes in the current “REMS” policy;

  3. Pass policy prohibition against state carve-outs that block generic access;

  4. Integrate incentives for generic utilization/adherence in chronic management reforms;

  5. Reduce the exclusivity period for biologics from 12 years to seven; and

  6. Increase Medicaid payments to states that increase the use of the least costly drugs available.

These recommendations come at a time when generic cost savings, compared to brand medicines, has never been greater. While brand drugs become pricier, generics are only becoming more affordable. In fact, a recent Express Scripts study found that while the cost of an unchanged market basket of brand drugs rose from $100.00 to $165.44 between January 2008 and December 2012, the cost of an unchanged market basket of generic drugs decreased from $100.00 to $57.38. As trends move in this direction, policies that encourage generic utilization and competition stand to save the government even more than they have in past years -- representing billions of dollars to reduce the debt and help address today’s dire budget straits.

GPhA Six Solutions for Congress Letter: House

GPhA Six Solutions for Congress Letter: Senate

Related Articles
The FDA is seeking comments on 28 new and 15 revised recommendations providing product-specific guidance on the design of bioequivalence studies to support Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs).
Today, an expert panel at the 2015 Generic Pharmaceutical Association Annual Meeting, “FDA and Industry Perspectives on Quality Culture,” convened to discuss a shared commitment with industry to the highest standards of manufacturing quality and regulatory processes.
The Generic Pharmaceutical Association today announced the election of its 2015 Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
The Generic Pharmaceutical Association and its members applaud the significant progress made by the agency during Commissioner of Food and Drugs Dr. Margaret Hamburg’s six years leading the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Throughout her tenure, Dr. Hamburg has been a tireless advocate for patient safety and a leader in efforts to assure that FDA decisions are guided by scientific principles.
Latest Issues
  • photo
    Pharmacy Times
    photo
    Health-System Edition
    photo
    Directions in Pharmacy
    photo
    OTC Guide
    photo
    Generic Supplements
  • photo
    Pharmacy Careers
    photo
    Specialty Pharmacy Times
    photo
    Generic
$auto_registration$