May 8, 1987

Cost and Price of Comparable Branded and Generic Pharmaceuticals

Author Affiliations

National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Inc Alexandria, Va

National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Inc Alexandria, Va

JAMA. 1987;257(18):2435. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390180053013

To the Editor.—  The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Inc, is writing in response to the publication of a generic drug study appearing last November in JAMA.1 We believe the study, funded by Ayerst Laboratories, a brand name company, misleads physicians and consumers regarding the cost-saving benefits of generic drugs.The research has little value in terms of the current marketplace because many changes have occurred since the study's completion. The most significant change in the marketplace resulted from congressional enactment of the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, a law that among other things provides for expedited approval of generic drugs. Experts estimate that this law will make available some 150 new generics and industry sources predict that these lower-priced medications will save consumers approximately $1 billion over the next decade.On the issue that prescription prices vary widely, this statement is true but needs