Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – More than 30 prescription drugs used by Central New Yorkers will soon be available in lower-cost generic varieties.
According to insurance provider Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, the switch will save Upstate New Yorkers more than $196 million.
14 brand name drugs will become available in 2013, while another 23 will become available in 2014.
Among the drugs that will soon be available in generic form are Diovan, Cymbalta, and Niaspan.
For 17 years, the companies that developed the drugs have had patent protection that gives them the sole authority to make and sell them.
Prices for these drugs are usually high as companies look to cover their costs for research, development, and marketing of the drugs.
Marybeth McCall, Chief Medical Officer for Excellus, told NewsChannel 9, “Generics are safe and effective, they have a good track record. They will save not only the person taking the medicine money but save the system money."