More Than Half of Medicare Prescriptions Are Generics
Generic medications, rather than brand-name treatments, account for almost two-thirds of prescriptions filled for Medicare beneficiaries, a trend that has helped reduce the estimated cost of the prescription drug benefit, according to data that CMS plans to release on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the data, generic medications accounted for 61% of prescriptions filled for Medicare beneficiaries in the third quarter, the third consecutive quarter of growth in the use of such treatments.
CMS officials said that use of generic medications can help Medicare beneficiaries avoid the "doughnut hole" coverage gap in the prescription drug benefit.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Thursday plans to announce that the use of generic medications among U.S. residents with private health insurance increased to almost 53% in 2006 from 48% in 2005 (Treftz, Wall Street Journal, 2/8).