Generic Drug Use Varies by State, Study Finds

December 6, 2004 ( - A new study shows that generic drug use varied wildly by state in 2003.

Massachusetts had the highest percentage of generic fill rate in 2003 at 51.3%, according to a poll by Express Scripts. Closely following the Bay State were New Mexico (50.4%), Oregon (50.2%), and Arizona (48.9%).

New Jersey was the state with the lowest generic fill rate at 39.5%. Following the Garden State were New York (40.8%) and the District of Columbia (41.5%).

Possible reasons for this, given by Express Scripts, might be differences in state regulations, disease prevalence, and programs that entice people to use generics.

Express Scripts notes that by 2008, this number of prescriptions filled by generic drugs should increase as $38 billion in drug sales are expected to lose patent protection by then.

The survey data was extracted from a data base containing ambulatory administrative pharmacy claims for around 3 million commercially insured members. For an entire list of states’ generic drug fill rate, please see the survey .