American College of Preventive Medicine

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 25, 2015

Don’t use expensive medications when an equally effective and lower-cost medication is available.

On average, the cost of a generic drug is 80–85% lower than the name-brand product, although generic drugs are required to have the same active ingredients, strength and similar effectiveness as brand-name drugs. Studies estimate that for every 10% increase in the use of generic cholesterol drugs, Medicare costs could be reduced by $1 billion annually.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) Prevention Practice Committee (PPC), responsible for practice guidelines and statements from the College, created a Choosing Wisely task force to lead the development of these recommendations. Task force members consist of select PPC members and additional ACPM members solicited through ACPM’s bi-weekly e-newsletter, Headlines. Each task force member individually developed 2-3 recommendations and the top ten were selected using an electronic survey by the entire task force. Subsequently, the ten recommendations were prioritized by the task force and rationales with references were produced. These recommendations were presented to the entire PPC for consideration and prioritization of the top five. The top recommendations were selected and rationales revised and presented to the ACPM Board of Regents for final approval.

ACPM’s disclosure and COI procedures can be found at www.acpm.org.

Sources

Hoadley JF, Merrell K, Hargrave E, Summer L. In Medicare Part D plans, low or zero copays and other features to encourage the use of generic statins work, could save billions. Health Affairs (Millwood). 2012 Oct;31(10):2266-75.

Mohler, PJ. New drugs: how to decide which ones to prescribe. Fam Pract Manag. 2006 Jun;13(6):33-5

Shrank WH, Hoang T, Ettner SL, Glassman PA, Nair K, DeLapp D, Dirstine J, Avorn J, Asch SM. The implications of choice: prescribing generic or preferred pharmaceuticals improves medication adherence for chronic conditions. Arch Intern Med. 2006 Feb 13;166(3):332-7.

Facts about generic drugs [Internet]. Silver Spring (MD): U.S. Food and Drug Administration; 2012 [updated 2012 Sep 19; cited 2014 Dec 5].Available from: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingGenericDrugs/ucm167991.htm.