HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Monday, April 6, 2009

Increased Use of Generic Drugs

The Wall Street Journal Health Blog's Jacob Goldstein reports,

For those keeping score at home: The total number of U.S. prescriptions for generic drugs grew by 12% a year between 2004 and 2008, while the number of prescriptions for branded drugs fell by 6% a year during the same period, according to a new analysis from Wolters Kluwer Health. . . .

A bunch of familiar factors are driving this. Payers are being more pushy about getting patients to take generics. As big campaigns like Wal-Mart’s $4 generics deal have made generics more familiar, patients have grown more comfortable with the idea of moving off of branded drugs. Tough economic times and, for many patients, higher co-pays add an economic incentive. And some big name drugs have gone off patent, without being replaced by comparable new blockbusters (Merck’s Zocor — generic simvastatin — comes to mind). . . .

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