(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. healthcare system has saved more than $1 trillion over the last decade, new research released by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) showed Thursday.
An analysis of government data by researchers at IMS Health found that the healthcare system's use of generics had generated $1.02 trillion in savings from 2002 to 2011, and that number is growing. The Generic Drug Savings Analysis revealed that just in 2011, the healthcare system had save $192 billion -- that's more than $1 billion in savings every other day, the report notes.
Here are other key observations by IMS, according to the analysis:
- Savings from generic use in 2011 increased 22 percent over the prior year, marking the largest year-over-year increase since 1998, and 10 percentage points higher than the 10-year average increase.
- Newer generic medicines -- those that have entered the market since 2002 -- continue to provide an increasingly higher share of the savings, totaling $481 billion over the past decade.
- The greatest one-year savings growth rate came from cancer treatments, which produced $10 billion in savings in 2011, more than three times higher than the $3 billion saved in 2010.
- Nearly 80 percent of the 4 billion prescriptions written in the U.S. in 2011 were dispensed using safe and effective generic versions of their brand name counterpart drugs.
With the release Thursday of this new data, the GPhA hopes to see increased use of generics to help "Congress and the White House gear up for the fiscal challenges facing them in the coming year," said Ralph G. Neas, GPhA President and CEO.
"The remarkable findings demonstrated in this report are a testament no only to the generic industry's tremendous accomplishments over the past decade, but to the even greater achievements that are still to come," Neas said.
"The sustainability of the health care system and the national economy depend in significant measure on the availability of affordable medicines."
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