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Generic vs. Brand Name Drugs: Are You Leaving Money on the Table?

1 min read
Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your health and finances. Although we may receive compensation from our partner insurance companies, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. CoverRight Inc. and CoverRight Insurance Services Inc. (NPN: 19724057) are collectively referred to here as "CoverRight".

Ready for a cost-savings revelation? Usage of generic and biosimilar drugs over their brand-name counterparts saved the U.S. healthcare system, which includes patients, over $400 billion in 2022. Yup that was the savings for One. Single. Year.

As you mull this over and process your shock, you may have questions on whether switching to a generic drug to save money is safe and right for you. In line with this, we’re delivering to you 3 fun facts regarding the cost discrepancies between generic and brand-name drugs:

Fun Fact #1: On average, generic drugs have 89% less of a copay than that of brand-name drugs

If this had you ready to pick up the phone to call your pharmacist, we don’t blame you. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, if generic drugs do the same thing as brand name drugs, but are 89% cheaper, then why would anyone choose the brand-name option? Well…some people are averse to changing from the brand-name medicine they have grown accustomed to taking, while others claim to feel more confident using a drug with a recognizable gain. Despite this, one thing is likely true for brand-name users: they are leaving money on the table.

Fun Fact #2: California, Texas, and New York saved the most money by using generics in 2022

If you are a resident of one of these states, feel free to let out a huge “WooHoo!” While you guys put up the big numbers, residents of the lesser-populated states of Louisiana, West Virginia, Indiana, Georgia, and Kentucky had higher per capita savings (and each unleashed a louder “WooHoo” on a decibel-per-capita basis as well, but who’s counting)

Fun Fact #3: Seniors over the age of 65 accounted for $147 billion in savings

All-in-all, seniors accounted for roughly 36% of all savings in 2022. Not too shabby! While this is great to see, we also know that there is a lot of room for improvement as Medicare is notoriously slow to cover new generics. One note of optimism on this front comes from the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes changes to Medicare that may encourage plans to cover new generics. More generics = more savings.

We hope these facts helped quantify the potential cost-savings benefits of switching to a generic version of a drug. If you are uncertain you are getting your drugs you need for the lowest cost, we recommend checking out our Medicare drug comparison tool (via collaboration with Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs) to help you find the least expensive ways to fill your prescription. Our calculator includes both brand name and generic drugs and is totally free, so go give it a spin!

Connor Wilson

Connor is a Content Writer at CoverRight focused on editing and publishing Medicare and health insurance-related information. He also serves the team as a Business Operations Lead, working to expand the business and enhance its strategy. Prior to joining CoverRight, Connor was able to hone his knowledge of the financial services industry through his work in investment banking.

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