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Generic Drug Use Varies Greatly by State

Survey finds Massachusetts tops list of such prescriptions

FRIDAY, Dec. 10, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The use of generic drugs in the United States varies greatly state by state, according to a survey of about 3 million pharmacy plan members aged 18 to 64.

Massachusetts, at 51 percent, had the highest dispensing rate of generic drugs, followed by Oregon and New Mexico, both at about 50 percent. New York, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Mississippi used generic drugs to fill less than 43 percent of all prescriptions, and New Jersey used generic drugs for less than 40 percent of all prescriptions.

The survey was released by Express Scripts Inc., one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers in the United States.

Variations in prescribing patterns and state regulations, along with differences in disease prevalence and the use of programs that encourage greater use of generic drugs are among the possible explanations for the state-by-state variations in generic drug use, the survey suggested.

For every 1 percent increase in generic drug use, prescription drug benefit plan sponsors save nearly 1 percent off their cost for drugs, according to Express Scripts statistics.

The company also noted that by the end of 2008, brand-name drug products that racked up more than $38 billion in sales in 2003 are expected to lose patent protection.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about generic drugs.

SOURCE: Express Scripts Inc., news release, Dec. 2, 2004
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