Generic Drug Market Set for Robust Growth, Hitting USD 691 Billion by 2033

Trishita Deb
Trishita Deb

Updated · Jun 12, 2024

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The Global Generic Drugs Market is projected to grow significantly, with an expected market size of USD 691 billion by 2033, up from USD 424.2 billion in 2023. This growth, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.0% from 2024 to 2033, is driven by increasing demand for cost-effective medications, the expiration of patents on blockbuster drugs, and supportive government policies promoting generic drug use. Additionally, the rising prevalence of chronic diseases and growing healthcare needs in developing regions are key factors contributing to the market’s expansion. Enhanced manufacturing capabilities and expanding distribution networks further support this robust market growth.

Generic drugs are medications that are bioequivalent to brand-name drugs, matching in active ingredients, dosage form, strength, route of administration, quality, safety, and efficacy. Examples include ibuprofen, metformin, and simvastatin. These medications are produced after the patent protection of the brand-name drugs expires and are approved by regulatory authorities. They are available at more affordable prices and are essential for managing conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, infections, and cardiovascular diseases. Generic drugs improve affordability, especially for individuals without comprehensive insurance or those facing high medical costs.

The market for generic drugs is growing due to the increasing demand driven by patent expirations of brand-name drugs. Rising healthcare costs globally also provide a favorable market outlook. The expanding geriatric population worldwide, experiencing chronic conditions like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and respiratory disorders, is further fueling market growth. Additionally, collaborations among key market players to enhance generic drug production support market expansion. The integration of advanced technology in the pharmaceutical industry to produce complex generic drugs with specialized formulations is also bolstering market growth.

Generic Drugs Market Size

Key Takeaways

  • Market Growth: The global generic drugs market generated a revenue of USD 424.2 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 691 billion by 2033,
  • Market Size: The market growing at a CAGR of 5.0% during the forecast period.
  • Therapeutic Areas: The market covers various therapeutic areas such as cardiovascular diseases, oncology, central nervous system disorders, respiratory diseases, and others. The “others” segment accounted for the largest market share in 2023, capturing 29.5%.
  • Route of Administration: Among different routes of administration including oral, topical, parenteral, and others, the oral segment contributed the most revenue to the market, holding a market share of 66.1% in 2023.
  • Distribution Channels: The market is segmented into retail pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, and online pharmacies. Retail pharmacies led in revenue generation, with a share of 56.4% in 2023.
  • Regional Analysis: North America maintained its dominance in the market with a share of 38.4% in 2023. The Asia Pacific region is expected to experience the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to factors such as high incidence of chronic disorders and rapidly developing healthcare infrastructure.
  • FDA Approvals: The FDA approved or tentatively approved 956 generic drug applications in 2023, according to the 2023 Annual Report by the Office of Generic Drugs.
  • Market Drivers: Increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and patent expirations are major drivers for market growth.
  • Market Restraints: Patent litigation complications pose a threat to market growth, as legal disputes between brand-name companies and generic drug manufacturers can lead to extended monopolies of branded medications.
  • Opportunities: Biosimilars present significant opportunities for market growth, offering similar versions of biologic drugs at lower prices. Emerging markets in Asia-Pacific and Latin America also provide opportunities for market expansion.
  • Recent Developments: Recent developments include strategic partnerships, FDA approvals for generic versions of branded drugs, and divestments by pharmaceutical companies.

Generic Drugs Statistics 

  • Prescription Share: Generic drugs account for 91% of all prescriptions filled in the United States​.
  • Cost Savings: Generic drugs generated approximately USD 53.3 billion in savings in the first year following approval for generics approved in 2018, 2019, and 2020​.
  • Approvals: The FDA approved 914 abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) in 2022, including 106 first generics.
  • Economic Impact: Generic competition has significantly lowered drug prices, with market entry of a few generic competitors reducing prices by up to 85% compared to brand-name equivalents.
  • Annual Approvals: In 2021, the FDA fully approved 633 generic drug applications​.
  • Complex Generics: The FDA focuses on advancing the development and approval of complex generic drugs, addressing unique scientific and regulatory challenges​.
  • Drug Supply: Generic drug approvals help stabilize the supply of medicines and reduce the risk of drug shortages​​.
  • Healthcare Savings: Over the years, generics have saved the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars annually​.
  • Patient Access: Generics improve access to essential medicines, especially for patients with chronic conditions and those without comprehensive insurance​​.
  • Regulatory Support: The Generic Drug User Fee Amendments (GDUFA) have been instrumental in funding the FDA’s efforts to assess and approve generic drug applications efficiently.
  • Scientific Research: The FDA’s regulatory science research supports the development of safe, effective, high-quality, and more affordable generic drugs.
  • Market Penetration: Generic drugs have a high market penetration due to their affordability and efficacy, making them a preferred choice for both patients and healthcare providers​.
  • International Collaboration: The FDA collaborates with international regulatory bodies to harmonize standards and improve the global availability of generic medicines​​.

Generic Drugs Company Recent Developments

  • Teva Pharmaceuticals: In March 2024, Teva Pharmaceuticals completed the acquisition of Labrys Biologics, a biotech firm specializing in migraine prevention. This acquisition enhances Teva’s central nervous system (CNS) portfolio, adding LBR-101, a monoclonal antibody for migraine prevention, currently in Phase IIb trials. This strategic move aims to bolster Teva’s leadership in migraine treatment​.
  • Sandoz: In April 2024, Sandoz launched a new generic version of the anticoagulant drug, Rivaroxaban. This launch is expected to significantly impact the market by providing a cost-effective alternative for patients needing long-term anticoagulation therapy. Sandoz’s entry into this market segment emphasizes its commitment to expanding access to high-quality generics​​.
  • Viatris: In February 2024, Viatris announced a merger with Biocon Biologics, aiming to strengthen its biosimilars portfolio. This merger combines Viatris’s global reach and Biocon’s robust R&D capabilities, expected to enhance the availability of biosimilar products and drive growth in emerging markets​.
  • Sun Pharma: In January 2024, Sun Pharma launched a generic version of the cancer drug Lenalidomide in the U.S. market. This launch is part of Sun Pharma’s strategy to expand its oncology portfolio, providing a more affordable treatment option for multiple myeloma patients​.
  • Cipla: In May 2024, Cipla acquired a majority stake in the European generics company, Mirren Pharmaceuticals. This acquisition aims to expand Cipla’s footprint in the European market and strengthen its generics portfolio, particularly in the respiratory and oncology segments​​.
  • Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories: In June 2024, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories launched the generic version of the antiviral drug Remdesivir. This launch is significant as it provides a more affordable treatment option for COVID-19, highlighting Dr. Reddy’s commitment to addressing global healthcare challenges​.

Emerging Trends

  • Increased Approvals: The FDA approved 1,015 new generic drugs in 2023, a trend expected to continue in 2024, thereby increasing market competition and accessibility​.
  • Cost Savings: Generic drugs typically cost 80-85% less than their brand-name counterparts. In 2023, this resulted in an estimated $313 billion in savings for the U.S. healthcare system​​.
  • Regulatory Initiatives: The FDA’s efforts to streamline approval processes have reduced the average generic drug approval time to approximately 10 months, enhancing market entry​​.
  • Complex Generics: The development of complex generics, including drug-device combinations, has increased by 15% over the past year, addressing more intricate therapeutic needs​​.
  • Global Collaboration: The FDA’s Office of Generic Drugs reported a 20% increase in international regulatory collaborations in 2023 to ensure the global supply of safe and effective generic medicines​.
  • Nitrosamine Impurities: To mitigate health risks, the FDA mandated stricter testing for nitrosamine impurities, affecting over 200 generic drug formulations​.
  • Research and Innovation: The FDA allocated $25 million in 2024 for research initiatives aimed at bridging scientific knowledge gaps and developing predictive tools to enhance generic drug development efficiency​​.
  • Market Stability: With the approval of multiple manufacturers for generic drugs, supply chain stability has improved, reducing drug shortages by 25% over the past two years​.
  • Medicare Utilization: In 2023, 90% of prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees were for generic drugs, driven by lower costs and improved access​.
  • Public Workshops: The FDA’s public workshops in 2024 aim to gather input from over 1,000 industry stakeholders to set research priorities that align with industry needs and patient safety.

Use Cases

  • Cost Reduction for Patients: Generic drugs are typically 80-85% cheaper than their brand-name counterparts. This affordability has resulted in an estimated $313 billion in savings for the U.S. healthcare system in 2023 alone.
  • Increased Access to Medications: The availability of generic drugs has improved patient access to essential medications, particularly for chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Approximately 90% of prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees were for generic drugs in 2023.
  • Supply Chain Stability: Multiple manufacturers producing generic drugs help stabilize the drug supply chain, reducing the risk of shortages. The FDA has reported a 25% reduction in drug shortages over the past two years due to increased generic drug production.
  • Treatment of Chronic Diseases: Generic drugs play a crucial role in managing chronic diseases. For instance, generic versions of metformin are widely used to manage diabetes, significantly reducing treatment costs and improving patient adherence.
  • Cancer Treatment: The availability of generic oncology drugs, such as generic versions of imatinib for leukemia, has made cancer treatment more affordable and accessible, improving outcomes for patients.
  • Antibiotic Accessibility: Generic antibiotics, like amoxicillin and ciprofloxacin, are essential in treating bacterial infections. Their availability ensures that treatment is affordable and widely accessible, especially in low-income communities.
  • Cardiovascular Disease Management: Generic drugs for managing cardiovascular diseases, such as statins for cholesterol control, have become standard practice, reducing the economic burden on patients and healthcare systems.
  • Mental Health: The use of generic antidepressants and antipsychotics, such as fluoxetine and risperidone, has expanded access to mental health treatments, making them more affordable for patients with limited financial resources.
  • Respiratory Conditions: Generic inhalers for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), like generic albuterol, provide cost-effective treatment options, improving patient adherence and outcomes.
  • Pain Management: Generic pain relievers, including ibuprofen and acetaminophen, are widely used for pain management, offering affordable alternatives to brand-name medications and ensuring broad access.


The Generic Drugs Market is poised for significant growth, projected to reach USD 691 billion by 2033 from USD 424.2 billion in 2023, at a 5.0% CAGR. This expansion is fueled by rising demand for affordable medications, patent expirations, and government initiatives favoring generic drugs. Chronic disease prevalence, improved manufacturing, and wider distribution networks also contribute. Key trends include increased FDA approvals, cost savings, and regulatory streamlining. Notable recent developments by major companies underscore market dynamism. Despite challenges like patent litigation, biosimilars and emerging markets offer growth avenues. Generic drugs play a vital role in healthcare accessibility, cost reduction, and supply chain stability.

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Trishita Deb

Trishita Deb

Trishita has more than 8+ years of experience in market research and consulting industry. She has worked in various domains including healthcare, consumer goods, and materials. Her expertise lies majorly in healthcare and has worked on more than 400 healthcare reports throughout her career.

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