Generic drug use saves money in Part D program, studies find
Medicare beneficiaries who use generic medications in the new prescription drug plan can significantly cut costs, according to separate studies by the Consumers Union, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid.Medicare could save about $8 billion annually beginning in 2007 if all beneficiaries taking cholesterol-lowering statins switched from brand names medications to lower-cost generic drugs, the Consumers Union study found.
It also reported that Medicare beneficiaries taking drugs for five common treatment areas in six states could save between $2,300 and $5,000 annually if they switched from name brand drugs to generic. Those treatment areas are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, post-heart attack care, arthritis pain and depression.
Beneficiaries enrolled in mid-priced drug plans could reduce their drug costs by as much as 59% by switching from brand name drugs to generics, the CMS study found. Beneficiaries in the lowest-priced plans could cut drug costs by as much as 83% by switching to generics.