Better outcomes with generic statins

Image: Thinkstock

They say you get what you pay for. But sometimes, paying less may lead to better results. People who were prescribed less-costly generic statins to lower their cholesterol levels were more likely to take their pills than people who were prescribed a brand-name statin, according to a study in the Sept. 15, 2014, Annals of Internal Medicine. The study compared data from nearly 84,000 people who started a generic statin with nearly 6,400 who started a brand-name drug. Those who took generic statins were also slightly less likely to be hospitalized for a serious heart problem or stroke or to die from any cause. The average copayment for a brand-name statin prescription was $48, compared with just $10 for generic statins. The cost factor may explain why people were more likely to take the medicine and therefore have better outcomes, the authors say.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »