I once thought generic prescriptions would top out at about 90% of all prescriptions, but the slow rate of release of new drugs is forcing me to change my guesstimate significantly. Unless something changes, I suspect that generic prescriptions will continue to grow fairly steadily until they are about 92% of all prescriptions, and then continue to grow more slowly until they account for 96% to 98% of all prescriptions. The growth in generic prescriptions may then grow even more slowly to form an asymptote to 100%, though probably never reach 100%.
While opponents of pharmaceutical patents are probably unhappy with any pharmaceutical patents, the result of the expiration of pharmaceutical patents and growth of generics is that in another 5 years 90% of all money spent on drugs will be for generic drugs, which means that patented pharmaceuticals are having a decreasing effect on the cost of health care.
On the other hand, we should talk about persistent generic drug shortages, which as of today stands at 238, which, amazingly enough is slightly down from the peak, but still threatening the lives of cancer, heart disease, and asthma patients, among others. Fortunately, though perhaps not from a financial perspective, many of these drugs have patented alternatives that, while much more expensive than the generics, are readily available with an apparently unlimited supply. Would you rather have a cheap, unavailable generic, or an expensive, available patented drug?