Will More Transition to Generics as Result of Brand-Name Costs and Pharma R&D Pricing?

As the issue of generics and biosimilars gains momentum in the wake of controversy over pharma R&D pricing and other considerations, the question for some has turned to whether the metrics are there to justify a full-fledged turn toward generics. In his Pharmalot article, titled “How Many Patients Would Switch to Generics?”, Ed Silverman takes a hard look at this key issue related to the pursuit of the biosimilars approval pathway.

Silverman’s piece leans heavily on the findings of Express Scripts’ annual report, highlighted by the most important figure: 82 percent of the 2,099 patients who participated would, indeed, switch to generics. The report also unearthed other trends, including a rise in brand-name medication pricing (by 9.7 percent), a decrease in generics pricing (by 10.2 percent) and the discovery that nearly three out of five patients canvassed believed they were correctly taking their medications as prescribed when they were not.

The DataBridge has stayed on top of the pharma R&D costing controversy, as well as the ongoing pursuit of the biosimilars approval pathway, so be sure to check out all our stories on these vital topics.

Pharma R&D costing and pricing are hot-button issues—with even religious groups getting involved. So Express Scripts added to the discussion by suggesting an estimated $403 billion in wasted health care costs based on their findings. Despite this staggering number, however, perhaps the most headline-worthy number to come out of this annual report remains that 82 percent who would switch to generics.

So what are your thoughts about pharma R&D costing and how it could impact patient decisions to transition to generics? How might such a shift potentially effect the biosimilars approval pathway?

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below … and thanks as always for reading.