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Patients Will Save Money On Prescriptions

July 26, 2011, 6:15 PM by Nicole Winters

Patients Will Save Money On Prescriptions
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The price of many prescription medications could be going down. Patents on seven of the world's 20 best-selling drugs will expire over the next year allowing generic versions to come on the market.

"We've already seen drugs like Effexor, and Prevacid, which has even gone over the counter, and now we're facing the biggest drug in the world Lipitor going off patent on November 30," Lewis Drug Director of Pharmacy Bill Ladwig said.

Those name brand drugs have dominated the market for the last decade, creating higher costs for patients like Bill Gortmaker.

"It most certainly does. Generics are only about half price as a rule," Gortmaker said.

Only half of Gortmaker's ten prescriptions are available as generics, but that could soon change. As patents expire, more generic brands will come on the market, creating competition and lowering cost.

Generic drugs can cost as much as 80 percent less and many carry lower co-payments for drug coverage.

"What it means to the patients is they will pay less at co-pays; co-pays for generics are less than brands," Ladwig said.

With more generics coming on the market, the price will go down for consumers, but Ladwig says the most important part is that people take the medications like they're supposed to.

"Compliance is a major, major problem. We've got medication that can save your life, but they don't do any good if you don't take them," Ladwig said.

The hope is cheaper drugs will encourage people to fill their prescriptions and take their medications.

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