President Obama’s State of the Union address underscores critical need to lower health costs to assure a strong Medicare and strong economy

Published Online: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
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PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DCLast night, the President said long-term growth in health care cost is the greatest threat to our deficit and that reforms are necessary.  GPhA agrees that in order to ensure a sound economy and reduce the federal deficit, we must act now to strengthen our financial foundation. We urge policymakers to look to a proven tool in lowering health care costs – increasing the use of high quality, affordable generic prescription drugs.  This also means that we must avoid measures that while intended to provide savings, would in fact have the unintended consequence of raising prescription drug costs.

When it comes to lowering health costs and generating savings for consumers and the health care system, generic manufacturers have an unparalleled record. According to a 2012 IMS Health analysis, generic drug use saves the U.S. $1 billion every other day.  Over the past decade, the savings add up to more than one trillion dollars and $193 billion in 2011 alone.

“While many factors driving health costs, such as an aging population, are inevitable, others are not. We know that policies that encourage generic and biosimilar utilization hold the promise of saving tens of billions over the next decades,” said Ralph G. Neas, President and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association. “When it comes to creating a sustainable health care system, generics and biosimilars are essential parts of the solution.”

There is no doubt the President and Congress face major challenges in the months and year ahead. Adopting common-sense measures to increase the use of generic medicines will go a long way to reduce the federal deficit and debt, help preserve affordable access to health care for our nation’s seniors and most vulnerable, and forge a stronger economy.

GPhA looks forward to working with President Obama and Republicans and Democrats in Congress to achieve these goals.

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