(HealthDay News) — Use of the generic discount drug program (GDDP) for filling prescriptions with generic drugs has increased since its introduction, according to a research letter published online September 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Noting that GDDP uptake was 3.6% in 2007, Song Hee Hong, PhD, from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, and Sunghee H. Tak, PhD, MPH, RN, from the University of Memphis, examined whether uptake of the GDDP increased over time, and whether factors affecting uptake have remained steady over time.

The researchers found that 3,208 of the 13,486 adults who had at least one prescription drug event in 2010 were GDDP users, with a weighted rate ratio of 23.1% for GDDP use. GDDP use was more likely among the elderly, sicker, and uninsured groups, and among people living in rural and central regions of the United States. Across different educational level, income, and racial/ethnic groups, the rate of GDDP use did not differ significantly.

“Use of the GDDP noticeably increased as the program matured,” the authors write. “The increase may well be the result of expansion of pharmacy chains offering GDDPs and consumer awareness of the programs.”

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