To Slash the Budget Deficit, Look to Generic Drugs

Generic drug industry leaders responded to President Obama’s plan to tackle the nation's growing budget crisis.

In response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) urged leaders to consider expanding the use and availability of generic medicines as a way to control health care spending and ultimately reduce the long-term budget deficit.

In his speech Tuesday night, President Obama identified health care as a target for potential savings—particularly through Medicare and Medicaid, which he called “the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit.” Boosting the generic prescribing rate is a critical first step to realizing those savings, according to GPhA.

“Increasing the use of generic drugs has proven over and over again to be the solution to holding down health care spending,” the group said in a statement. Recent data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed that increasing generic drug use by just 2% would save the health care system more than $1 billion annually.

“President Obama rightly focused on how he will lead our nation to a more secure economic future,” the group stated. “GPhA and our member companies are committed to working with the President, Members of Congress, Governors and state legislators to help control healthcare spending by optimizing the savings achieved through the use of affordable generic medicines.”