(Washington, DC) — The American health care system saved more than $824 billion through the use of generic medicines over the last decade, according to a new study released by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA). The analysis conducted by IMS Health highlights the value of this important cost-saving tool utilized by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today.

“When supported by other PBM tools like e-prescribing and home delivery, generic drugs are key drivers in improving outcomes and lowering costs,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. “By fully leveraging the generic opportunity, policymakers can increase access and savings for consumers and payers.”

Key findings from the IMS report include:

  • In 2009 alone, the use of FDA-approved generics saved $139.6 billion—a 15% growth over the prior year’s savings—or about $382 million every day.
  • Savings generated by new generics will continue to increase as $89 billion in branded drug sales will lose patent protection over the next five years.