Generic medications contain the same active ingredients and work the same way as brand-name medications, but cost substantially less. As many Americans face mounting healthcare costs, substituting generic medications for their brand name counterparts can result in considerable savings for patients and payers.

Researchers at the University of Chicago recently analyzed the generic substitution rates of oral contraceptives (OCPs) and the associated costs in the U.S for the period of January 2010-December 2014. While the rates of prescribing generic OCPs increased during this period, there was no decrease in the costs associated with brand OCPs. In most cases, brand OCPs had generic options available. The study authors determined that substituting brand OCPs with these generic options would have saved $751 million in out-of-pocket costs during the study period.

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