December 16, 2015 – Generic Mandate


Anchor lead:  The American College of Physicians says generics should be used first, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Prescription drug prices are a big factor in soaring health care costs, with many people unable to manage paying for the range of medicines they’re supposed to take.  Now the American College of Physicians has recommended that if a generic medication exists, all physicians should prescribe that first.  Paul Rothman, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, comments.

Rothman: I think it’s in general probably a good thing.  I think what we’ve learned is that in general generics work as well as non-generic drugs and they are generally less expensive, so if you’re worried about and we’re all worried about health care costs and expenditures, then generics should be commonly used.  There are occasions where generics don’t work as well as a non-generic drug and so it’s not every patient that you can do it with but most patients its fine.  And so I think in general we want to bring down health care costs.   :30

Rothman says that often, more than one generic is available to try. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

Dr. Rothman  is a member of the Board of Directors of Merck and Co.  He receives payment and equity for this service.  This arrangement has been reviewed and approved by the Johns Hopkins University in accordance with its conflict of interest policies.