Between 2014 to 2018, there has been a switch from brand name to generic cholesterol medications. Despite an increase of individuals being placed on cholesterol-lowering drugs, the switch to generic has saved Medicare billions of dollars. These findings were published in the journal JAMA Cardiology and allow policymakers and clinicians to help patients switch to generic drugs.
"One of the most important contributors to our health care costs is expenditure on prescription drugs," says Ambarish Pandey, M.D., a cardiologist and assistant professor of internal medicine at UTSW. "The switch to generics is an effective strategy to cut the costs incurred by health systems."
"It's important for our health care system to find avenues to become more cost-efficient and accessible. Even though there is still a lot of work to be done, it is encouraging to see how quickly patients switched to generic options once they became available," says first author Andrew Sumarsono, M.D., an assistant professor of internal medicine at UTSW. "This rapid switch to generics saved Medicare a lot of money."
Learn more about a popular cholesterol-lowering drug, Lipitor, that was on the market before going generic roughly 8 years ago:
Source: Science Daily