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Old 01-07-2007, 08:55 PM   #1
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Question Generic medications?

I was wondering how many of the commonly used pain meds come in a generic form. Right now I take Darvoct and/or Lortab, but I'm hoping to take something more effective or something that is time-released. My insurance, in a word....blows. I only get a 25% discount on name brands, but pay a $10 copay for generics. Am I going to have trouble getting the commonly prescribed drugs used today or do most of them come in a generic form?

TIA!

 
Old 01-07-2007, 10:26 PM   #2
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Re: Generic medications?

I take morphine sulfate which is generic , and take 60 mgs , 3X a day...I pay $10 ...my hydrocodone is $10

 
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:23 AM   #3
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Re: Generic medications?

Hey, most of the drugs do come in generic. The way they can come in generic is when the brand name of the drugs patent has run out, and it takes 7 yrs for this to happen, then any drug company can produce a generic for that drug for cheaper. So if it is a new pain medication drug on the market, then for the 1st 7 yrs, there will not be a generic for that drug, this way, the company that invented the drug gets the corner on the market and sell it at whatever price and make the money on it for 7 yrs before anyone can market it as a generic.

As far as the morphine sulphate that the other person was on, I was also on this (MS contin) I'm not sure yours was the time released, but you stated you paid $10.00, was this with insurance? I was getting the generic also took 60mg 3 times a day and a month supply is $260.00 for generic paying cash, so as you can see, some generics are even very expensive. I hope this helps.

Susan

 
Old 01-08-2007, 06:07 AM   #4
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Re: Generic medications?

Hi sarah, If there is a generic version I ask for it. I figure if I don't ever take the name brand med and stick with the same generic manufacturer I always know what to expect and won't know what I'm missing if I have nothing to compare it too.. As fas as the 7 year thing, Manufacturers do have the right to extend their name brand status for up to 11 years, so The 7 year mark doesn't gaurentee a generic will be avialable.

Purdue has sucessfully had generic version of LA oxycdone removed from the market twice now. The argue both sides of the coin, #1 the generic isn't close enough to the proprietary drug to be called a generic equivelenet by insiting thier product last 12 hours. If that doesn't work they argue it's too close to the name brand and they argue thier patent has been infringed upon. Oxy C came out in 96 and is still fighting to keep generics off the market. There is a generic version of MSContin 8-12 hour morphine but there aren't generic versions of the longer acting morphine products like Kadian and Avinza. Methadone is availabale in generic, Duragesic is available as a generic, all the short acting meds aside from the new oral version of Oxymorphone are also available as a generic.

If we were using imuno supressants to prevent rejection of an organ transplant, the docs are going to insist you stick with name brand only, same for many heart medications. As far as pain meds, Generics are usually close enough not to cause a problem or require a larger dose.

The only generic manufacturer I do avoid is Mallinkrodt, The make a generic version of everything and in their own prescribing info they tell you things like each 30 mg tablet contains 27 mgs of oxycodone or each 15 mgs contains 13.5 mgs of oxy for their generic version of roxicodone. Generic status means bio equivelenet, which technically means they produce roughly the same effect as their name brand counterparts. Even name brand drugs produce variations in serum levels given differences in metabolism and size and weight. Generic status is aproved if the generic produces serum levels within that same plus 15% or -20% standard that is used by the FDA. Meaning a 10 mg tablet could contain anywhere from 8.0 mgs too 11.5 mgs of active ingredient.

Some companies will take advantage of that variance and purposely only use 85% of the active ingredient and still recieve the highest generic rating. Mallinkrodt IMO, shoots for this with every drug they make. It allows them to produce an extra 15-20% out of every Kilogram of active ingredient.

Their generic version of methadone called methadose is so inferior to the Roxanne generic, both times I was given methadose instead of the generic by Roxanne I went through 2-3 weeks of mild withdrawal. Enough that I will never take a mallinkrodt product again in my life. I'm sure some folks have started with Methadose or a mallinkrodt generic and have never taken anythign else so they don't know they are taking an inferior product.

Often the maker of the name brand product also makes a generic counterpart, why not, the only difference is the color additive and the name and number stamped on the pill. Endo for example makes name brand percocet, they also make the genric version called Endocet. It's coming from the same manufacturer, same plant, so why worry about having name brand versus generic.

A little inside tip about generics, is that they are much cheaper for the retailer and the gross mark up is significantly higher on generics, the customer may only save 20% by using a generic version where the retailer is making twice that in profit margins and encourage their pharamcists with bonuses to tell everyone generics are exactly the same thing. If that was true their would be no acceptable variance and transplants docs wouldn't care if you used generic version of anti rejection drugs. When a pharamcist is paid a bonus based on the percentage of genrics Vs name brand they fill and sell, the pharamcist has a major incentive to tell you generics are exactly alike which isn't always the case.

Due to the cost difference, I just figure if I never take the name brand I won't know what I'm missing and won't be forced to question my decison about saving money when things are so tight after adjusting to the loss of an income.

There are also differences in addictives and fillers generics use and some people are more sensetive to thse products. So it's really an individual decision, but geting brand only in pain meds doesn't ensure you're getting the best med, some genrics are equally effective from some of the major manufacturers like Endo, Roxanne, Elan, and a few other manufacturers. There used to be alot of talk about gong to canada to by medications, the risk involved in this is that Canada does by from mexican manufacturers, and for whatever reason, most likely pwerful lobbyist, The US doesn't import prescription drugs made in Mexico despite the huge price difference . They aren't subject to FDA testing so they aren't allowed in the US and patients are discouraged from crossing the canadian border to by cheaper generics manufactured in mexico.

Good luck, Dave

Last edited by Shoreline; 01-08-2007 at 07:17 AM.

 
Old 01-08-2007, 01:34 PM   #5
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Re: Generic medications?

Sara-
Everyone has already brought up very true and valid points. I'm just going to add that you may want to be sure to ask your doctor to write any prescriptions and note that "voluntary formula" is ok. At least for the meds that do have generics.

Unfortunately, my PM doctor writes a couple of my scrips as "Name Brand Only". These are also some of the more expensive meds I take, and my insurance just changed their co-pay tiers on medications as of the first of the year....urghh. Instead of paying $10, $20 or $35 co-pay, I will have to pay 35% of the cost of some of these meds, which may add up to lots of out of pocket money on my part. I am going to be talking with my PM doctor about why he feels I need the name brand on these medications. Some of the meds, he allows voluntary (generic), so I guess he feels that some of the generics maybe don't work as well?

Hope you are able to get generics on your meds. Let us know!!

 
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