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The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

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Pharmalot: What Generics? Study Shows Americans Spent an Extra $73 Billion for Brand-Name Drugs

STAT PharmalotBoston, MA, May 11, 2016 ― Pharmalot reporter-blogger Ed Silverman reports on STAT News that doctors may be encouraged to prescribe lower-cost generics, but a new study found that Americans spent an extra $73 billion between 2010 and 2012 on pricier brand-name drugs because physicians failed to sufficiently recommend these copycat treatments to their patients.

And consumers paid nearly one-third of those additional costs through out-of-pocket payments.

Notably, Silverman reported, the study found that the excess spending occurred when a generic version was not available for a specific brand-name drug, but a doctor could have prescribed a lower-cost, copycat for a similar brand-name medicine.

For example, instead of prescribing a lower-cost generic for a brand-name cholesterol pill, a doctor might have prescribed a similar brand-name cholesterol medicine.

The additional spending on what the researchers called “overuse” of brand-name medicines accounted for 9.6 percent of all spending on prescribed medicines between 2010 and 2012.

The researchers also found that most of the extra spending was for widely prescribed medicines, including drugs used to treat high cholesterol; schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; depression; acid reflux; and high blood pressure.

Spending on such medicines totaled $213 billion, and of this, $147 billion was for brand-name medicines, after accounting for rebates that drug makers offer payers and insurers.

The study reviewed health data for more than 107,000 individuals from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a federal database, during those years.

For Silverman’s full STAT story, click here.

Follow Silverman’s Pharmalot on Twitter @pharmalot.

Follow STAT News — which reports from the frontiers of health and medicine — on Twitter @statnews.