The Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) has said that generic drugs and biosimilars have saved the U.S. healthcare system around $338 billion in 2020, according to Managed Healthcare Executive, a news outlet.

The AAM is a trade association representing the manufacturers and distributors of generic prescription drugs, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic drug industry in the United States.

The association said biosimilars, in particular, saved nearly $8 billion in 2020, as they are much cheaper compared to their brand-name counterparts.

The biosimilars drug market continued to grow in 2020 – thanks to three new FDA approvals and six new product launches.

Christine Simmon, Senior Vice President of Policy & Strategic Alliances at the AAM, said, “America’s patients deserve access to lifesaving medicines at more affordable prices, and biosimilars are making new access to care available for patients.”

“Yet biosimilars were still less than 30% volume share in markets where they competed,” she added. “As more biosimilars are approved and brought to market, patients and taxpayers will save billions while treating serious illnesses like cancer and Crohn’s disease.”

“The full promise of savings through biosimilar competition will only be realized if policymakers take steps to foster greater biosimilar adoption,” added Simmon, who is also an executive director of AAM’s Biosimilars Council.

The association also said that the introduction of oncology biosimilars has reduced the growth rate of oncology spending by 50% since 2019. It said in a news release, “This reduction in growth, along with continued use of generic cancer medicines, contributed to a total of $18 billion saved on oncology medicines in 2020.”

In 2020, Medicare saved nearly $110 billion in generic drugs and biosimilars and Medicaid saved $53.8 billion.

AAM President and CEO Dan Leonard said, “The generic drug industry is absolutely central to the affordability of health care in America, accounting for 9 out of 10 prescriptions.”

“In the face of a pandemic that has upended life around the globe, generic and biosimilar medicines have been a constant, providing safe, effective and affordable treatments to the millions of patients who depend on them,” added Leonard, who served as a president and CEO of the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC). The story appeared on Managed Healthcare Executive.