STAT+: Physician and patients may prefer brand-name drugs, but they cost Medicare Part D a lot of money

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Generic drugs may remain lower-cost alternatives to brand-name medicines, but the Medicare Part D program could have saved roughly $1.7 billion in 2017 if doctors and patients had actively opted for these copycat treatments, a new study finds.

More specifically, the program would have saved $977 million that year if generics had been substituted for all of the brand-name medicines requested by prescribers. And if Medicare patients had sought generics instead of brand-name drugs, Medicare Part D would have saved another $673 million, according to the study published in JAMA Network Open.

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