Throughout the world, people are spending over $550 billion on pharmaceuticals. In the United States, we are spending over $250 billion on medication. Despite having a fraction of the world’s population, the US is purchasing nearly half of all prescription and non-prescription drugs.
Generic medications now account for 60% of all medication that are dispensed. While prescription dispensing overall increased 5% in 2005, the generic dispensing growth has jumped 21%. The share in the dollar market is significantly lower for generics because the cost is much less then the brand name drugs. Many generics are priced up to 80% less than the equivalent brand name medications. The reason is competition. A brand name drug has no competitors and the manufacturer can therefore set the highest price that the market can bear.
The future for generic medications is looking bright. In 2005, eight of the top ten new pharmaceuticals were generics. This will benefit the aging population since generic drugs are much cheaper than name brand medication. In the next five years, nearly all of the top selling medications will lose their patent and will therefore become available in generic form.
The new Medicare Part D is helping to bolster this upward trend towards generics. The plan has a strong push for generic utilization.
Ask any pharmacist and he or she will tell you that the less expensive generics will work just as the expensive brand name drug. The Food and Drug Administration must approve all pharmaceuticals before they are introduced into the marketplace. The generic manufacturer must prove, through extensive testing, that their generic product will produce the same effect as the name brand.
Dr. West Conner is the author of the incredibly popular workbook “How To Save Money On Your Prescription Drugs” and the audio CD “Are You Spending Too Much On Your Prescriptions?” He is currently active in assisting clients who are having difficulty affording their prescription drugs. Through his many years of practice, Dr. Conner has developed a number of unique and creative ways to lower prescription costs. Visit http://www.rxcostcutters.com for more details.