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Blue Asks You
from Blue Asks You 2011
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February 18, 2011
Robert A. commented on February 19, 2011
bankerpony commented on February 21, 2011
Read the regulations and you will find that generics only have to be within 20% of the amount of the effective dosage of the original drug, and can use different fillers, etc. Regulations are established, but enforcement is poor. The drugs are made all over the world, and locations change as contracts come and go. Generics are a great money-saver, but the regulations and regulators need to be more stringent.
Jeanette G. commented on February 21, 2011
In most instances I do feel that generic meds are just a seffective as brand name drugs. There are a few examples, however, where there is a slight difference in the potency of the med. One such classification of meds where this can occur is with anticonvulsant meds. While the difference may be small for some that is enough.
Patty commented on February 22, 2011
I agree with bankerpony. Although the generic drug must have the same active ingredient - it is the inactive ingredients that differ. These can cause different reactions for each individual. The generic drugs is considered to be "identical" but that is a legal interpretation, not a literal one. The regulations; therefore, should be more stringent.
freshpharmacist commented on February 23, 2011
@Patty and @bankerpony the regulations for the contents of the active ingredients of a generic are similar to the regulations that a brand manufacturer must adhere to for each batch of pills that they make. Given that the difference for most drugs to achieve a therapeutic effect (and also not cause side effects) is wide, this difference is actually not clinically significant.
Regarding your comments about inactive ingredients, they are given the term inactive ingredients for a reason, there is no evidence to suggest that a person will have any adverse effects to one "filler" versus another despite what people believe.
All generics must undergo studies, in order to be approved by the FDA, that demonstrate they are absorbed into the body, distributed throughout the body, and metabolized and excreted by the liver, kidney, etc. with the same requirements as the brand name drugs.
Add all that to the fact that the average generic costs 10% of the cost of a brand and there's a pretty compelling argument to use generics first. Here's a link to the FDA website that might help dispel some other myths: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingGenericDrugs/ucm167991.htm
Deb commented on February 25, 2011
According to bankerpony, generic drugs are manufactured all over the world. Where do you think a lot of brand drugs are manufactured as well? In addition, there have been a number of brand drug recalls recently, so problems with manufacturing practices are not limited to either brand or generic companies. And, speaking of brand companies, who do you think manufactures many generic drugs? Yes, the brand manufacturers.
tssea1013 commented on February 25, 2011
Great discussion. I look to my primary care provider to determine if generic is acceptable vs. brand. I am currently using generic meds (2) that fall into the maintenance category. So far, I have seen no difference in overall effectiveness. I used brand until early 2010. I am sure drug reps are in their pockets but have to trust my provider.
Lastly, I have a friend who is a Pharmacist and is an advocate for generic. Again, also believes the provider must review and participate in the overall recommendation. I have faith in the FDA stamp of approval.
bsmith commented on February 25, 2011
Most of the time, generics are fine. But for some conditions -- like high blood pressure -- brand names can more reliably maintain drug levels necessary to keep pressure under control. Where the time-release of a level dosage is important, brands have advantages.
Jeff M. commented on March 1, 2011
I believe that generic drugs are as effective as named brand. I further believe that some people has a body chemistry that doesn't process the generic medications effectivelly. The drug may only be half-life or no effect at all. This has to be evaluated on a case by case basis
stephs commented on March 2, 2011
I'd say generally yes. I did run into a situation where I felt one specific generic did not provide the same results for me as the brand name did. So it's my choice if I want to pay for the brand name to get the results I want.
csyner commented on March 2, 2011
I feel that generics are just as effective in*most* cases. However, people respond differently to medications. There are are situations in which the generic is not as effective as the name brand. For example, I suffer from migraine headaches and take Maxalt (a triptan drug). My insurance company is pushing me to take a generic form of Imitrex (also a triptan drug). For me, the generic is not nearly as effective as the name brand and causes tightness in my shoulders and a feeling similar to being hung over. For most things, I take the generic (antibiotics, pain killers, etc.) but the name brand Maxalt is the only thing that works on my migraines.
dizzy_mom commented on March 4, 2011
I have had a non-generic drug and the physician did not recommend I switch to the generic becuase the suspended release of the effective medicine was not the same in the generic. The generic dumped the majority of the medication in my system all at once, where the non-generic was incremental throughtout a 24 hour period. Significant variation if you ask me.
lindi commented on March 5, 2011
yes for certain medications such as antibiotics. however, not ALL medications should be generic and don't punish those whose best interest is to remain on the brand name medication. It is also frustrating when you cannot get brand name because your insurance company denies payment because you have not tried and failed generic meds first.
nc-cyclist commented on March 7, 2011
Generic vs brand name does matter for some categories of drugs, like anti-seizure and antimigraine medicines. It also matters for some extended-release medicines. For some medications, a 10% difference in dosage over time makes a big difference. Sometimes a generic is not available in the time-release, so the patient has to take 3 - 5 pills during the day.
For most medications, generic is equivalent to brand-name. It is vital to have an exception process to pay for brand-name in specific instances (but this process should not risk hospitalization or injury).
cutter commented on March 15, 2011
When my son was 8 weeks old he begin to have seizures. We found out he has cortical dysplasia which is a spot on his brain. The generic meds prescribed did not stop the seizures but the name brand meds have almost stoped them. We went from about 25 seizures a day, until now where he has not had a seizure in over 3 weeks. Praise the Lord! But what is bad is BCBSNC is charging us a penalty charge because he is taking name brand when there is a generic available. A generic that clearly dont work! Should they (BCBSNC) be able to decide if my son has seizures or not?
kspamman commented on March 16, 2011
melaniebanas commented on April 20, 2011
it definitely depends
ilehavot commented on April 30, 2011
Yes, they are proven and cost less
Karen S. commented on May 8, 2011
My answer is a qualified yes. There are some namebrand drugs for which there is no generic available. I was on a prescription drug that fell into the third tier ($50) and the cost of the drug was only a little over $60. My doctor had to change to a generic so that I could afford to treat my condition but the generic is for a different drug that has more side effects and is harder for my body to adjust to.
mark l. commented on May 18, 2011
kittylowrance commented on May 24, 2011
Sometimes they are, sometimes not. I have a friend who can only use the name-brand of one drug; she has tried the generic and it didn't work for her. Our bodies don't have identical chemistry, so it's impossible to say that generics will always work as well as the original, since they only have to be about 85% the same.
phillygirl67 commented on July 1, 2011
I don't think there is a difference. As a matter of fact most of the doctors I see advise me of generic brand medication and they advise me that they work the same as the name brand but they are just cheaper. I think its always good to ask if a doctor does a drug come in a generic brand. But I know (at least from my doctor) they would advise me of the better one for me.