Generic Drugs

Facts at a Glance

Our Industry

  • U.S. brand pharmaceutical manufacturer sales for 2007: $228 billion.
  • U.S. generic pharmaceutical manufacturer sales: $58.5 billion. (source: IMS National Sales Perspective, Moving Annual Total, Nov. 2007)
  • The top five U.S. corporations by unbranded generic prescriptions dispensed are Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Mylan Inc., Sandoz (Novartis), Watson Pharmaceuticals, and Mallinckrodt, respectively.
  • 10,072 of the 12,751 drugs listed in the FDA's Orange Book have generic counterparts. (source: FDA, MedAd News)

Generic Prescriptions

  • Generic medicines account for 69% of all prescriptions dispensed in the United States, yet only 16% of all dollars spent on prescriptions. (source: IMS Health)
  • Generic pharmaceutical products are used to fill nearly 2.6 billion prescriptions every year.
  • In 2008, the top 10 generic drugs, by prescriptions dispensed in the United States, were HYCD/APAP, Levothyroxine, Amoxicillin, Lisinopril, Simvastatin, hydrochlorothiazid, amlodipine besy, azithromycin, warfarin sodium, furosemide. (source: IMS Health, National Prescription Audit, Dec. 2008)

Generic Savings

  • In 2007, the average retail price of a generic prescription drug was $34.34. The average retail price of a brand name prescription drug was $119.51. (source: The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, 2007)
  • According to a 1998 study by the Congressional Budget Office, generic drugs save consumers between $8 billion and $10 billion each year.

Generics in the Future

  • The generic industry is growing at more than 7.8%, a pace that is faster than the world pharmaceutical market. (source: IMS Health)
  • Blockbuster products expected to come off patent in 2009 include Flomox, AmbienCR, Arimidex, Cellcept, Keppra, Imigran, Prevacid, Topamax, Valtrex. (source: IMS Health)