Generic Drugs Saved Medicare $33 Million in 2007
News delivered by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in September added to the evidence supporting generic substitution as a means to cut health care costs. The report, entitled “Effects of Using Generic Drugs on Medicare’s Prescription Drug Spending,” found that generic drugs saved seniors and the government $33 billion in 2007 alone. CBO estimated that costs to the Part D program and its beneficiaries would have been 55% higher, totaling approximately $93 billion, had generics not been available.
CBO also identified additional opportunities for savings, such as substitution of singlesource drugs for generic alternatives in the same therapeutic class. Doing so would have reduced prescription drug costs by an additional $4 billion in 2007.
The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) used the findings as an opportunity to urge members of Congress not to implement legislation that would restrict the use of settlements to resolve patent litigation. It is GPhA’s position that this practice is essential to the continuous and timely introduction of new generic products.
“Once again, it is clear that using generics can stretch Medicare dollars, freeing up money for other critical health care services,” wrote a representative from the association, which highlighted CBO’s analysis in a recent news release.
Generics to Dominate Hypertension Drug Market
Analysts at the research firm Decision Resources estimate that the global hypertension drug market will decline by $3 billion over the next decade as a result of increased availability of generic antihypertensive drugs.
In a report released September 28, 2010, Decision Resources announced the market value for hypertension drugs would fall from $26 billion in 2009 to $23 billion in 2019 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
Patent expirations will present a formidable challenge to branded drugs, with first-, second-, and third-line treatments for hypertension all facing generic competition in the coming years. The greatest decline in sales is expected to begin in 2013, when generic alternatives to Novartis’s Diovan/Tareg will enter the market.
“Emerging agents will find it difficult to penetrate the highly genericized hypertension market because of competition from inexpensive and efficacious generic antihypertensive drugs,” said Taskin Ahmed, an analyst for Decision Resources.
The agency also reported that amidst the overall decline, sales of fixed-dose combinations will increase as patients demand more convenient treatments.
Amneal Celebrates Grand Opening of Glasgow Center
Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC announced the grand opening of its expanded distribution and sales center in Glasgow, Kentucky. A ceremony held in late September brought Amneal’s leaders together with representatives of area businesses and local and state governments to commemorate the event.
The 115,000-square-foot facility will create nearly 50 new jobs for area residents and constitutes an investment of more than $6.6 million by Amneal. In exchange for creating job growth, Amneal was approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority to receive up to $2.5 million in tax incentives over a 10-year period.
The new location will consolidate Amneal’s existing distribution and sales operations and provide support for the company’s future growth. Products currently distributed from Amneal’s post in Long Island, New York, will be relocated to the new building in Glasgow.
GPhA Joins Coalition to Combat Counterfeit Medicines
The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) joined the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) in the fight against counterfeit and contraband medicines, the association announced last month.
“GPhA and its member companies are committed to medicines of the highest quality, safety, and effectiveness,” GPhA stated. “We are pleased to add our voice to those of PSM members working to inform consumers, health care professionals, and policy makers about the dangers of counterfeit medicines.”
PSM partners with organizations and individuals to promote policies that protect consumers from counterfeit drugs and ensure the safety of the global drug supply chain. Among its current members are several state and national pharmacy associations, such as the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, the American Pharmacists Association, and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.