Low-cost generic statins improve compliance and clinical outcomes compared to their brand-name counterparts. Those are the findings of a recent study of Medicare beneficiaries who were on the cholesterol-lowering medications. Researchers reviewed the records of 90,000 statin users of which 93% took a generic and 7% took a branded version. The mean age was 75 years and about 60% were women. The average out-of-pocket cost was $10 for the generic statin vs $48 for the brand-name product. Adherence (as measured by proportion of days covered) was 77% in the generic group and 71% in the brand name group (P < 0.001). The generic group also saw an 8% reduction in the composite outcome of hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome, stroke, or all-cause mortality compared to the brand-name group (HR, 0.92; 95%CI, 0.86-0.99). The authors conclude that “compared to those initiating brand-name statins, patients initiating generic statins were more likely to adhere and had a lower rate of a composite clinical outcome.” (Ann Intern Med 2014;161:400-407). An accompanying editorial points out that this study was looking at generic vs brand-name drugs “but the operating factor for patients is affordability.”