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CHAIN STORE GENERIC DRUG AVERAGE PRICE IS 50%

Executive Summary

CHAIN STORE GENERIC DRUG AVERAGE PRICE IS 50% of branded products in a comparison of 51 matched brand name and generic drugs, according to a prescription drug survey involving 10 drug store chains (25 or more stores). The survey, conducted by the drug data processing firm Medi-Span Inc., was included in a report released by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores June 19. The report, entitled "Generic and Brand Name Drug Prices: An Updated Look at the Evidence," was prepared by Zachary Dyckman, Center for Health Policy Studies. According to the report, the Medi-Span survey found that "savings resulting from purchase of generic rather than brand name drugs range from 7.5% for flurazepam to 80.1% for meclizine." Among other products, percent savings were cited for chlorpropamide (61.2%), hydrochlorothiazide (68.6%), nitroglycerin (26.1%), tolbutamide (56.3%), dipyridamole (61%) and diazepam 2 mg (52.3%). The report noted that "the entire package of brand name drugs, most in quantities of 100, was $1,148.73, compared to the price of the generic package of $583.15." Thus, the report concluded that "based on observed price difference for these drugs, consumers could reduce their prescription drug costs by 49% by purchasing generic rather than brand name drugs." Dyckman's report also included a study by the New York Public Interest Research Group which surveyed 144 pharmacies in the New York City and upstate New York areas. Based on a comparison of the drug price list for 36 matched pairs of brand name and generic drugs, the New York study found that "the percent difference in prices as a proportion of the brand name price varied from 10% [amoxicillin] to 135% [chlordiazepoxide]." Dyckman said the average difference in price between the brand name and generic drugs was "$2.89 or 50% of the average brand name price," which represents "consumer savings of 33% when the generic drug is used instead of the brand name drug." In both studies generics were in every instance less expensive than the brand name product. Dyckman noted that the findings refute a study by Bernard Bloom, et al, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last November that concluded the consumer price for brand name drugs is sometimes less than the price for generics. Dyckman stated that Bloom's findings result "from price differences among stores and/or among categories of payors (e.g., direct consumer and Medicaid)." He said there is "no evidence of generic prices being higher than brand name prices within a given store."
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