If people took their meds, we'd save billions
If people took their medication exactly as recommended, and doctors prescribed only generic drugs, when possible, the U.S. would save billions of dollars every year, according to a report from CVS Caremark. The report analyzes potential cost savings per state by looking at drug adherence rates and potential for generic drugs prescriptions for four physical and mental health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and clinical depression. Researchers estimate that U.S. states could save between $19 million (Wyoming) and $2.1 billion (Texas).
If doctors switched from brand name drugs to generics, according to the report, the U.S. would save $13.4 billion, and if 80 percent of patients went to pick up their prescription themselves, the U.S. would save another 6.5 billion a year.
Texas stands to save the biggest amount if drug adherence improved and doctors switched to generics, with $686 million and $1.4 billion saved, respectively. California came in second with $652 million and 1.2 billion in prospective savings.
Researchers from the Institute for Healthcare Informatics reported earlier this month that the US health care system overspends by $200 billion because of medication misuse.