Up Front: THE BIG PICTURE
Increasingly, you can get a low-cost generic drug instead of a brand name. With more categories of pharmaceuticals open to generics, drug-price inflation slowed to 3.3% last year from 9.9% in 1990.
Brand names must keep prices down to compete.
One impetus for the change: Managed-care providers, eager to rein in expenses, are pushing for generic substitutions.
DATA: NATWEST SECURITIES CORP.