Blue Access for Employers

Ask For Generic Drugs

Americans are using more prescription drugs to prevent and manage health conditions than ever before, and those drugs are more expensive than ever before. In fact, there were 10 prescriptions written for every man, woman, and child in America last year, costing $155 billion.

Believe it or not, the amount we spend on drugs increases nearly 20 percent every year and is one of the main reasons the cost of health care is increasing. Fortunately, there are simple things we all can do to help keep health care affordable. When you need a prescription drug, ask your doctor if a generic equivalent is available.

Why Pay More?

The generic drug is just as effective as the name brand. Both medicines have the same active ingredients, the same strength and the same dosage. But the generic drug costs less than one-third the price of the name brand drug, on average -- $72 for a name brand drug as opposed to $22 for a generic.

The Hidden Cost of Name Brands

One reason name brands are so much more expensive is that drug companies spend more than twice as much on marketing and advertising these drugs as on research and development. In fact, the nine largest pharmaceutical companies spend an average of 27 percent of their revenue on marketing, advertising, and administration, while only 11 percent goes toward research and development.