Featuring data reported by IQVIA, the 2023 U.S. Generic & Biosimilar Medicines Savings Report reveals generic and biosimilar drugs generated a record $408 billion for America’s patients and healthcare system in 2022. Generic medicines are an integral part of our health-care system, expanding patient access through competition and lower prices. And a new wave of lower-priced biosimilars is also delivering value and savings.
The report breaks savings down by state, age, payer, and common medical conditions, providing in-depth data at a time when the focus has shifted to the recent surge in drug shortages. These findings reinforce the critical importance of the often underappreciated generic and biosimilar industry to America’s patients.
Here are the topline findings:
Patients and taxpayers saved $408 billion in 2022
Up from 2021, which found $373 billion in generic and biosimilar savings, this figure indicates continued savings for the U.S. health care system, including patients, employers, and taxpayers. Generics and biosimilars have saved patients and U.S. health care system $2.9 trillion in the past 10 years.
90% of U.S. prescriptions filled, 17.5% of Rx drug spending
Although generic and biosimilar prescriptions account for 90% of prescriptions filled in the U.S., they account for only 17.5% of the country’s spending on prescription drugs. In other words, costly brand-name products account for the bulk of pharmaceutical spending. The generics and biosimilars industry bring costs down.
Less than 2% of total health care spending
Generics represent only 1.5% of all U.S. health care spending
$130 billion in Medicare and $194 billion in commercial health plan savings
Up from $119 billion and $178 billion in 2021, generics and biosimilars continue to provide critical savings throughout the health-care system and are particularly valuable to Medicare, employer-sponsored health insurance and the patients they serve. Despite these savings, many patients are paying too much for their generics as a result of increasing copays, even when the price their generic is sold for has declined.
The average generic copay is $6.16, brands cost patients almost 9X more
The amount patients pay at the pharmacy counter is where concerns lie. The average copay for brand-name drugs is more than nine times higher at $56.12. Fortunately, 93% of generic prescriptions are dispensed under $20 (as compared to 59% of brand-name drugs).
$9.4 billion in savings from biosimilars and $23.6 billion since first biosimilar entry in 2015
The market for biosimilar drugs continues to expand. The report finds the average sales price for biosimilars is on average 50% less than the reference brand biologic price was at the time of biosimilar launch. Further, competition from biosimilars has reduced the average sales price of their corresponding brand biologic by an average of 25%.
Biosimilars used in almost 694 million total days of patient therapy
Since 2015, biosimilars have been used in almost 700 million days of patient therapy with no unique clinical challenges. In fact, biosimilar competition has now supported more than 344 million incremental days of therapy — care that patients would not have received otherwise.
AAM publishes these findings annually to ensure policymakers, health-care professionals, advocates and the public know the vital role that safe, effective, FDA-approved generics and biosimilars play in health of our nation.
Share Your Voice
To help raise awareness of the essentialness of generic medicines to patients and our healthcare system, join our industry's 4GRxANTED campaign. The #4GRxANTED campaign asks people to record a video or share a story explaining who or what in their lives they take for granted but shouldn’t and post it on social media. For every video created, liked or shared with the hashtag #4GRxANTED, the generics industry will donate medicines to Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization that provides medical assistance to people affected by poverty or emergencies.