New coupons aim to keep people off generic drugs

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Some drugmakers with blockbuster medicines getting generic competition are betting Americans will stick with the name they know rather that switching to a cheaper copycat.

They're giving them a big financial incentive to stay on the brand-name drug: coupons that can cut their copayment to about what they'd pay for the new generic rival. Many of the coupons also let people paying cash save up to $100 a month.

The drugs include staples in the American medicine cabinet — cholesterol fighter Lipitor, blood thinner Plavix and blood pressure drug Diovan — plus depression and breast cancer medicines.

The drugmakers are trying to hang onto millions in sales as they are squeezed by rising research costs, the weak global economy and pressure from Europe, China and elsewhere to reduce drug prices.

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