CVS CAREMARK: MORE THAN THREE-FOURTHS OF DRUGS SOLD ARE GENERICS
Author: Russ Britt
A report from drug retailer CVS Caremark released Thursday says that more than three-fourths of the drugs it dispensed during 2012 were generics, helping to reduce spending for health plans and employers by 3.6%.
CVS CVS +0.10% said 77.4% of the drugs it sells are generics, which it contends leads the industry in dispensing.
The company said it was able to do that because of a high number of brand-name drugs that lost their patents during the year, calculating the estimated market value of those brands to be at $35 billion.
CVS says, however, that even though traditional medicines lost ground to generics, specialty treatments used to treat such diseases as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis C and cancer grew by 18.1%. The retailer says specialty medications now comprise nearly 20% of the total amount spent on drugs and that offers growth in coming years.
"As the generic wave begins to subside in the coming years, the impact of specialty pharmacy on client spend will only increase," Jon Roberts, CVS's pharmacy benefit management president, said in a statement.