Cutting Brand-Name Drug Use Could Save U.S. $73 Billion

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Cutting Brand-Name Drug Use Could Save U.S. $73 Billion
Cutting Brand-Name Drug Use Could Save U.S. $73 Billion

TUESDAY, May 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Americans could save tens of billions of dollars with more efficient drug use, replacing brand-name drugs with their generic equivalents whenever possible, according to a study published online May 9 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Michael Johansen, M.D., family medicine physician with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, and colleagues reviewed self-reported prescription drug use by 107,132 Americans who were part of the 2010 to 2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

The study authors found that $760 billion was spent on prescription drugs during the study. Nearly 10 percent of all prescription drug expenses involved brand-name drug overuse. Out-of-pocket expenses totaled $175 billion during the study. Brand-name drug overuse accounted for 14 percent of these costs.

"We observed an estimated potential savings of $73 billion overall and nearly $25 billion in out-of-pocket expenses throughout the three years of the study," Johansen said in a university news release.

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