Statement by Ralph G. Neas, President and CEO, GPhA, Regarding IMS Findings on the Use of Medicines in 2013


WASHINGTON, DC, (April 16, 2014) — “The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) welcomes this year’s IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics report showing the critical role of generic medicines in saving billions of dollars for the health system and the economy. The study finds that even as utilization of medical services increased, the cost of medicines went up by just 3.2%, a historically low rate.

The low rate of spending on medicines in 2013 is a testament to the ongoing impact of generic drugs. This study reinforces that by relying on generic medicines, we can help ensure that as more Americans access medical services, the costs of medicines can be kept in check. This principle is critical for the coming year, as the number of insured Americans increases as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

The report, Medicine Use and Shifting Costs of Healthcare: A Review of the Use of Medicines in the United States in 2013, also finds that generic drugs are passing on savings to retail consumers. It notes that almost entirely due to generic drugs, 57% of medications are available to patients at a cost of five dollars or less.

Indeed, an IMS health analysis released by GPhA in December 2013 showed that generic pharmaceuticals have achieved $1.2 trillion in savings over the past decade, nearly $217 billion in 2012 alone, all of which translates to more than one billion dollars in savings every other day.

This report demonstrates the positive effect that generic medicines have had to date, but we can do even more. GPhA continues to call on Congress to enact common-sense reforms to save billions more for American taxpayers. This includes passing legislation to curb the abuse of the FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) programs, which are being used to hinder competition, and measures to increase generic drug use for the Medicare Low Income Subsidy (LIS) population. According to CBO, this could result in more than $20 billion in savings to the federal government.”