Generic drug use in the US jumped up 8% in 2012, keeping the growth rate of health care spending stable for the third straight year. This is according to a new report from the Health Care Cost Institute, which examined claims made by Americans aged 65 and under with insurance covered by their employer. While 2011 showed a health spending growth rate of 4.1%, the growth rate in 2012 was slightly lower at 4%.
The use of brand-name prescription medicines fell by nearly 21%, while the use of generic medications rose by 8%. The report writes that, for the first time since the end of the recession, the increase in expenditure on generic prescriptions was due mainly to increased use rather than increased prices. 2012 also experienced a reversal of previous trends of declining generic prescription expenditures.