Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

As brand name blockbusters come offpatent, a surge of generic drugs is expectedto drive down how much Americansspend on prescription-drug costs, accordingto a report in the New York Times. Atpresent, US patients spend $275 billion ayear on prescription drugs.

Over the next 5 years, however,experts predict that generic drugs willexperience a boom as patents on $60 billionworth of brand name drugs begin toexpire.

Even though the aging American publicis using more medicines, and new medicinesare still entering the market eachyear, the ascent of generics has beencentral to hindering increases in spendingfor prescription drugs as a whole.Analysts who follow major generic playerssuch as Teva Pharmaceutical Industriesand Barr Pharmaceuticals forecasta 10% to 13% annual growth in profitfor the generic industry by 2010.

This year alone, patients have switchedto generic versions of 5 major medicines.Experts stated that generic drugs willkeep drug-price inflation in the single digitsfor the next several years, ending thedouble-digit trend that began in the early1990s when many drugs were first introduced.