Kaló Z, Abonyi-Tóth Zs, Rokszin Gy, Katona L, Ágh T, Inotai A: Impact of switching on health care costs and outcomes in generic drug policies (Value in Health 1 6 [2 0 1 3] A323–A636)

Objectives: Price erosion is considered the key success criterion of generic drug policies. For chronic drug therapy, however, persistence with the original drug substance is equally important. Low persistence may result in poor health outcomes, lead to increased health care costs. Our objective was to estimate the impact of switching drug therapy on health and economic outcomes as a consequence of the Hungarian drug policy in hypertension.

Conclusions: In chronic diseases switching to generic drugs reduces health care costs. However, frequent switching among generic brands may result in negative health outcomes and increased health care costs. Suboptimal implementation of generic drug policies in chronic diseases may compromise expected benefits (i.e. same health gain at lower costs). Potential confounding factors may limit the generalizability of our conclusions.