Generic Prescription Drugs Scarborough ME
Old Orchard Beach, ME
South Portland, ME
Brand name vs. generic drugs
Brand name vs. generic drugs
One of our astute HAE readers recently asked my opinion about brand named vs. generic drugs after a story he had seen in the news. It’s come up before, so I wanted to discuss it with everyone.
Theoretically there shouldn’t be a great difference in brand name vs. generic but in actual practice this can present a problem for many patients. When a generic is made the active chemical or drug compound is the same but how it is bound in a tablet or how it is released from the formulation can make a significant difference in how well it works. It is this difference that accounts for frequent differences in how the generic works compared to the brand name. Not all generics are inferior but how any one individual may react to them is hard to predict in my experience.
In some cases, the generic is just as effective as the original but at a fraction of the price. One good example of this is Flomax. We have all seen the ads on our TV, of the guy who is missing the game or who can’t drive his ball off the tee because he is running to the bathroom all the time. Then we see shots of him and his smiling friends as they happily play together with confidence as there bladder control issues have been magically eliminated with the help of Flomax. Hell, it makes me want to run out and get some Flomax so I can fit into that “fun” picture they present. But there is a reason those ads look so fun. The manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim, spent $116 million in advertising to make it look great. You get to share in that expense when you purchase your Flomax for $246 for a one month supply. Now who’s smiling? Studies have shown that the generic, doxazosin, which costs less than $10 works just as well for most men. So in this case, the generics save you and your insurance carrier a lot of money.
Well now that brings the other billion dollar baby into the picture . . . the insurance companies. Most of us have already come to realize that we mere mortals are but a small bone being chewed on by two very big dogs. The drug companies want to convince you that you need their very expensive drugs and the insurance companies tell you that generics are just fine because they don’t want to pay for the pricey stuff. The real question is who has your best interest at heart? In my mind the only answer is NEITHER.
The drug company that spent $116 million on advertising for Flomax also netted a cool 1.2 billion in sales for that ONE drug in ONE year. The pharmaceutical companies want you to buy there brand name drugs and they charge a huge premium for them. The very name brand drugs that we pay top dollar for in the U.S. are typically sold around the world for much less money. You can buy prescription drugs out of Canada and pay far less for the exact same drug.
Then we have the insurance companies that want to offer you generics because it saves them money. Once the insurance c...