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The full report is titled “Comparative Effectiveness of Generic and Brand-Name Statins on Patient Outcomes. A Cohort Study.” It is in the 16 September 2014 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 161, pages 400-407). The authors are J.J. Gagne, N.K. Choudhry, A.S. Kesselheim, J.M. Polinski, D. Hutchins, O.S. Matlin, T.A. Brennan, J. Avorn, and W.H. Shrank.
Comparative Effectiveness of Generic and Brand-Name Statins on Patient Outcomes. Ann Intern Med. 2014;161:I-30. doi: 10.7326/P14-9033
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2014;161(6):I-30.
Statins are drugs that decrease the amount of lipid (fat) in the blood and prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Some people who take statins do not take the full amount their physicians prescribe because the drugs cost too much.
People aged 65 years or older with Medicare insurance that included prescription drug coverage. This coverage nearly always enables the patient to pay less for generic statins than for brand-name ones.
The researchers combined information from different electronic files maintained by Medicare and a large national pharmacy benefits manager.
Compared with patients who initiated a brand-name statin, those who initiated a generic statin during the study had lower copayments for their prescriptions; took more of the drugs; and had fewer occurrences of death from any cause, hospitalization for a heart attack, or hospitalization for a stroke.
The results do not necessarily apply to patients with other types of insurance.
Lower copayments can lead to better patient outcomes.
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Cardiology, Dyslipidemia, Healthcare Delivery and Policy, High Value Care, Coronary Risk Factors.
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