Utica, NY (WIBX) - According to a new study released by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a small increase in the precentage of generic prescriptions filled can make a big difference for the state of New York.

Since 2005, when the group started its campaign to increase generic prescription fill rates, the Utica and Rome region has seen an increase from just over 47 percent, to a fill rate in August of more than 71 percent.

John Giacovelli, a pharmacy expert for Excellus, said the savings can quickly add up when brand-name drugs aren't used.

"Everybody, both for controlling out-of-pocket expenses by patients, employers who ahve to pay the bills and state and federal agencies who have to pay the bills, win also," Giacovelli said. "There's no decrease in quality care, becasue it has long been proven that generics are just as effective as their brand-name counterparts."

Giacovelli also said savings may come from the release of several brand-name drugs, including Plavix and Singulair, as generic prescriptions. Generic versions of these two drugs alone will save upstate New Yorkers more than 200-million dollars annually.