WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 12, 2018) In its newest white paper, released today, the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) finds that generics and biosimilars continue to provide savings for patients, but that uninterrupted patient access to these affordable prescription medicines is at risk.
According to “Ensuring the Future of Accessible Medicines in the U.S.: Avoiding Shortages & Ensuring Competition for America’s Patients,” generic prices are falling faster and settling lower than ever before. But new savings – with up to $140 billion in patent expiries over the next five years – are at risk without policies that ensure market entry. And continued savings from older generics are threatened by purchaser consolidation and policies like the Medicaid Generics Penalty and state-enacted burdens.
“Unless policymakers take steps to address these challenges, the risk of shortages among generic drugs is likely to increase further, threatening patient health,” says AAM President and CEO Chip Davis.
Other details included in the report:
- Prices, not percentages matter. A 22 percent price increase in Humira in 2014-2015 translated to $270 million, while a 121 percent increase in the generic phenazopyridine HCL in the same time frame equaled $4000.
- Not all drug prices are going up. Generic price decreases are masking brand drug price inflation.
- Patent expiries are looming. Savings are at risk if generics and biosimilars aren’t able to launch in a timely fashion. According to IQvia, roughly $140 billion in lower brand drug spending is possible due to expiring patents over the next five years. But without policies that allow timely generic and biosimilar entry, these savings may not be realized.
AAM is driven by the belief that access to safe, quality, effective medicine has a tremendous impact on a person’s life and the world around them. Generic and biosimilar medicines improve people’s lives, improving society and the economy in turn. AAM represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic industry. Generic pharmaceuticals are 89 percent of prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. but only 26 percent of total drug spending.