Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Brand-name drugs no better than generics: study

  1. #1
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    18,138

    Default Brand-name drugs no better than generics: study

    Wed Dec 3, 2008

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There is no evidence that brand-name drugs given to treat heart and other cardiovascular conditions work any better than their cheaper generic counterparts, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.
    The findings run counter to the perception by some doctors and patients that pricier brand-name drugs are clinically superior, said Dr. Aaron Kesselheim of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, who led the study.
    Kesselheim and colleagues combined the results of 30 studies done since 1984 comparing nine sub-classes of cardiovascular drugs to generic counterparts.
    The brand-name drugs did not offer any advantage for patients' clinical outcomes in those studies, they wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
    "Brand-name drugs for cardiovascular disease can be as much as a few dollars a pill, whereas generic drugs might be as little as a few cents a pill," Kesselheim said.
    "If a patient is prescribed a generic drug because that's what's appropriate for their condition, then they should feel confident taking that drug. And physicians themselves should also feel confident prescribing generic drugs where appropriate," Kesselheim said in a telephone interview.
    He said rising costs of brand-name prescription drugs strain the budgets of patients as well as public and private health insurers. Overall U.S. prescription drug sales hit $286.5 billion in 2007.
    EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS
    Pharmaceutical companies retain exclusive rights to drugs they develop for a certain number of years, after which others can sell generic versions that are chemically equivalent. The active ingredient is the same, but the color and shape may differ and they may have different inert binders and fillers.
    In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration must approve a generic version of a drug before it can be sold.
    Kesselheim said cardiovascular drugs to treat conditions of the heart and blood vessels are the most commonly prescribed category.
    The study covered beta-blockers, diuretics, calcium-channel blockers, statins, antiplatelet agents, ACE inhibitors, alpha-blockers, anti-arrhythmic agents and warfarin.
    The researchers said brand-name manufacturers have suggested generic drugs may be less effective and less safe. They also found that many editorials in medical journals questioned whether generic drugs were as good.
    Generic medications represent 66 percent of the total prescriptions in the United States, but less than 15 percent of the money spent on prescription drugs, according to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association industry group.
    Kathleen Jaeger, who heads the pharmaceutical group, said the research reconfirms that FDA-approved generics provide the same medicine with the same clinical effects at a substantial cost savings.
    "You have patients worrying about being able to receive and afford quality health care. As everyone is grappling with how to increase access and reduce costs, we know that generics are part of the solution," she said in a telephone interview.
    Ken Johnson, senior vice president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, said in a statement, "The contention that brand-name medicines drive up the cost of health care is fatally flawed.
    "Without today's innovative brand-name drugs to legally copy, there would be no generic drug industry," he said.

  2. #2
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    18,138

    Default Re: Brand-name drugs no better than generics: study

    I'm told (by those who know) that generics are allowed to differ from the brand name by as much as 10%. Often this may not matter, but I know of one specific case of an ADHD generic that was different enough from the original as to be useless. Yet Medicaid specified the generic and would not cover the cost of the branded drug. Believe me, on the generic, this kid was off the hook!

  3. #3
    Veteran Member DizzyIzzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    29th October 2008
    Location
    Aotearoa - Land of erm... sheep and clouds and grumpy volcanoes
    Posts
    931

    Default Re: Brand-name drugs no better than generics: study

    That doesn't surprise me Islander - the difference they can make is amazing.

    There's a similar battle going on in NZ at the moment around the Thyroxine drug the government subsidises - they changed it very slightly about a year ago, and suddenly half the people taking it have had huge problems. Massive weight gain, paralysis in limbs, confusion, depression, hair-loss, inability to walk or move, etc etc - obviously not just minor complaints; it's all very serious - but the government refuses to acknowledge there's a problem, saying it's exactly the same formulation it always has been. There've been thousands upon thousands of complaints (all of which are apparently 'the menopause', regardless of age or whether or not it is!). Thankfully, some doctors have the sense to figure out what's wrong and then put them on natural thyroid stuff, but there are those who aren't so lucky...

  4. #4
    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
    Join Date
    24th September 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5,570

    Default Re: Brand-name drugs no better than generics: study

    When I was working in pharmacy many many years ago, Florida had what was called a negative formulary. These were specific drugs that generics could NOT be substituted for. If the doctor wrote Dilantin that's what had to be dispensed. Off the top of my head, I remember Dilatin, Synthroid, Coumadin being on that list. I'm currently taking hydrocortisone and could only afford the generic. I'm finding out that the generic is much less potent than brand name (from the adrenal fatigue group I belong to). Whether it's due to differences in absorbtion or there's less active ingredient I don't know. Regardless of what this article says, after 30 years in medical, there is a huge difference in generic vs brand name a lot of the time.

  5. #5
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    18,138

    Default Re: Brand-name drugs no better than generics: study

    Mellowsong, does every state have a negative formulary?

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    5th October 2007
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: Brand-name drugs no better than generics: study

    I would say there is an argument for generics to be tested on their pharmacokinetics if the excipients differ.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
    Join Date
    24th September 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5,570

    Default Re: Brand-name drugs no better than generics: study

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander
    Mellowsong, does every state have a negative formulary?
    No, it was just a few states back then and I believe no states have them any longer as quality control is no longer an issue (gag, choke,sputter) and doctors have the option on prescriptions of saying MAY NOT substitute.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
    Join Date
    24th September 2007
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    7,112

    Default Re: Brand-name drugs no better than generics: study

    Quote Originally Posted by PPARGammaGirl
    I would say there is an argument for generics to be tested on their pharmacokinetics if the excipients differ.
    You would think they would test it if the exceipeints differ.

    This is where I had trouble with generics. The fillers and binders did not allow the drug to be released, or I reacted to them, or something. I did fine on the brand name.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. New study questions effectiveness of popular cholesterol drugs
    By Islander in forum Prescription Medications
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-16-09, 08:41 PM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-06-09, 10:08 AM
  3. NCI's Flawed SELECT Study Attacks Vitamin E
    By Islander in forum Vitamins
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-30-08, 03:04 PM
  4. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-11-08, 08:11 PM
  5. Omaha Shooter Had Been "Treated" For ADHD, Depression
    By Islander in forum Antidepressants
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-10-07, 03:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
<<<<<<<< Your Customized Value <<<<<<<<