Doctors from all over the country have found that they are prescribing generics more frequently due to brand name drug patents ending while patients are increasingly becoming more accepting of the idea of generic drugs.
In New York alone, the prescribing of generics rose from 68.4% to 72.7% just last year according to Excellus Blue-Cross Blue Shield. In 2008, lower-cost generics lead to a prescription savings of $369 million which benefited taxpayers, patients, and employers according to health insurers.
Within in the last few years, numerous patents for high profile, brand name medications have ended and have become available as generic drugs. The vice president and chief pharmacy officer of Univera, Joel Owerbach said: “We’ve seen a growing list of generics coming onto the market, especially in 2006, and a coordinated effort by insurers and physicians to understand the opportunities to use them.”
In the coming years, as economic conditions worsen, the popularity of generic drugs will continue to grow as patients are educated on the benefits of generic drugs. Generic drugs are very safe as they are chemically identical to their brand name counterparts. Outside of the appearance, there are no physical differences between a generic and brand name drug. In addition, due to the lack of start-up costs associated with generics, they can typically be purchased for significantly less than the brand name counterpart once the patent is lifted. As health care costs increase, the use of generics will most likely become more prevalent.
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