ARLINGTON, Va., June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) today praised action by the Senate Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee, that will, if ultimately approved, provide an additional $10 million in funding for the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD). The increase is included in the Subcommittee's fiscal 2007 Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. GPhA, which has championed the need for increased funding, said the increase would provide long-lasting dividends to all health care purchasers and health care programs, by speeding the approval of more affordable generic pharmaceuticals.
"We believe this proposed increase represents an investment by Congress in making more affordable medicines available to consumers and public and private health care purchasers. The return on this investment will be billions of dollars in savings," said GPhA President and CEO Kathleen Jaeger. "Funding for OGD has remained relatively flat over the past several years, and the backlog of generic drug applications has continued to grow. Additional funding will better enable OGD to process these applications more rapidly, and provide consumers with access to affordable generic drugs in a more timely fashion." Jaeger pledged that GPhA will work with Congress to seek additional funding for OGD.
Generics, which cost 30% to 80% less than brands, save consumers and public and private health care purchasers billions of dollars each year. Medicare, for example, anticipates that its prescription drug benefit will cost $8 billion less than anticipated, due in part to the use of affordable generic medicines. And, just a one percent increase in the use of generics nationwide would save $4 billion annually.
OGD's workload has increased by 36%, and the department currently has a backlog of more than 800 generic drug applications. That number that is expected to increase as more than $100 billion in brand products are expected to lose patent protection by 2010.
GPhA represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals, manufacturers and distributors of bulk active pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic drug industry. Generics represent 56% of the total prescriptions dispensed in the United States, but less than 13.1% of all dollars spent on prescription drugs. For more information about the industry, visit http://www.gphaonline.org.
The Generic Pharmaceutical Association