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    Generic medication

    Despite what many people think, generic drugs are perfectly safe and effective. Some patients think that they must be inferior because they cost less. That simply isn't true. There's a very good reason why they cost less and it has nothing to do with quality of product.

    When a pharmaceutical company patents a new drug, they get exclusive rights to market that drug for a certain number of years. That gives them time to recoup their R&D costs which typically runs $2-$3 billion.

    Once that patent runs out, other companies may start manufacturing and selling their versions of the same medicine. They don't have the $3 billion upfront cost to worry about so they can charge a whole lot less. The actual production of the medicine doesn't really cost that much, literally pennies per dose in most cases.

    So the brand name drug might cost the pharmacy $5/pill and they sell it for $6. The generic might cost $0.25 and they sell it for $2. This also explains why some pharmacies are able to do things like WalMart's $4 generic plan. They can give you 30 pills for $4 and still make a profit because they are paying next to nothing for those pills because they buy in huge quantities. Some pharmacies even "sell" certain meds for free just to get customers into the store.

    So is there any time when a generic isn't a good idea? There can be. Certain medications have what is called a narrow therapeutic range, meaning fairly precise dosing is important. This is true for things like thyroid medication and certain blood thinners. Even a 5-10% dose variation from batch to batch or company to company could be clinically significant so you should discuss this with your doctor.

    I have encountered times over the years where someone just found that a generic wasn't working well for them, and sometimes it was a change from one generic to another. I handle those on a case by case basis as some people are more sensitive to the minor variance that can exist.

    Overall, though, I prescribe generics whenever possible to reduce the cost to both the patients and the overall healthcare system. And I'm certainly not alone as about 80% of all prescriptions are for generic medicines.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    #2
    Someone else pulled this up, and I see they were removed but it did trigger a question.

    If the initial patent time is to recoup the loss, why is it the name brand continues to be the absurd price even when there is competition on the market?

    You don't find this in food usually. Typically, the generic is only a little less, sometimes a lot or sometimes nearly none. The cost is so close. I've even noticed some name brand cereals are competing on the big bag shelves with malt-o-meal and the like.

    Why is it drugs are not like this?
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you're stupid and make bad choices.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by GoodSteward View Post
      Someone else pulled this up, and I see they were removed but it did trigger a question.

      If the initial patent time is to recoup the loss, why is it the name brand continues to be the absurd price even when there is competition on the market?

      You don't find this in food usually. Typically, the generic is only a little less, sometimes a lot or sometimes nearly none. The cost is so close. I've even noticed some name brand cereals are competing on the big bag shelves with malt-o-meal and the like.

      Why is it drugs are not like this?
      Not my field but I think the food situation is a lot different. They don't really have the same patent protection and I suspect there isn't nearly as much government involvement. Plus when a store brand of a food item comes out, it's not the same. It's similar but they aren't using the same recipe so the product doesn't quite look or taste the same. They're basically making something inspired by the brand name product. And we've definitely found that some products we prefer the brand name and some products we prefer the store brand.

      Why does the brand name drug remain expensive? Because they can. They need to maintain the facade that it's somehow better. And they want to keep milking it for as much as they can. There are still patients who insist on the brand name no matter what it costs.

      Also keep in mind that sometimes the first company to release a generic is the original company. They may even have exclusive rights to sell the generic for the first 6 months or more, so they still get all of the business.
      Steve

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
        Not my field but I think the food situation is a lot different. They don't really have the same patent protection and I suspect there isn't nearly as much government involvement. Plus when a store brand of a food item comes out, it's not the same. It's similar but they aren't using the same recipe so the product doesn't quite look or taste the same. They're basically making something inspired by the brand name product. And we've definitely found that some products we prefer the brand name and some products we prefer the store brand.
        Yeah, good point. I guess it isn't really the same.

        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
        Why does the brand name drug remain expensive? Because they can. They need to maintain the facade that it's somehow better. And they want to keep milking it for as much as they can. There are still patients who insist on the brand name no matter what it costs.

        Also keep in mind that sometimes the first company to release a generic is the original company. They may even have exclusive rights to sell the generic for the first 6 months or more, so they still get all of the business.
        Gives the illusion of competition, or choice, but the same people still get the money. This is becoming a more common practice as companies buy out each other like Clorox and CVS. Clorox actually owns two different brands of charcoal products and two different brands of Cat litter. It seems a monopoly is always the drive with enough time and money. It appears as competition but isn't.

        This reminds me of people who want to boycott some major brand like Kraft for approving some political or religious thing they disprove. Good luck with that. Most likely every product you use is owned by them or hits their bottom line somehow(Proctor and gamble I think). lol You need to become Amish to boycott things these days.
        Last edited by GoodSteward; 05-10-2018, 05:07 AM.
        Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you're stupid and make bad choices.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by GoodSteward View Post
          Gives the illusion of competition, or choice, but the same people still get the money. This is becoming a more common practice as companies buy out each other like Clorox and CVS. Clorox actually owns two different brands of charcoal products and two different brands of Cat litter. It seems a monopoly is always the drive with enough time and money. It appears as competition but isn't.
          Well there's competition in the sense that you have more than one choice of which product to get. As you point out, though, the money ends up in the same place.

          My wife and I are bourbon aficionados. If you walk into your local liquor store and peruse the bourbon aisle, you'll find dozens of "brands" but the reality is that 90+% of them are produced by 8 companies.

          For example, Jim Beam is a well-known brand, but they are part of Suntory Ltd. They also make Booker's, Knob Creek, Old Grand Dad, Basil Hayden, and Maker's Mark just to name a few. They also make at least a couple dozen other liquor brands. And they produce product for other companies like Calvert Whiskey so even though it isn't technically their product, they still get a piece of the income from it.
          Steve

          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
            So is there any time when a generic isn't a good idea? There can be. Certain medications have what is called a narrow therapeutic range, meaning fairly precise dosing is important. This is true for things like thyroid medication and certain blood thinners. Even a 5-10% dose variation from batch to batch or company to company could be clinically significant so you should discuss this with your doctor.
            I take thyroid meds; yes it is recommended that you stick with one brand and avoid generic. I was taking one brand and after a talk with my pharmacist, I found out a different brand cost significantly less. I switched brands. So even among non-generics there are huge price differences.

            Comment


              #7
              I use generics for every drug I can, including thyroid meds. I am in the "donut hole" with Medicare so my drugs through my insurance are ridiculously costly. I use a free plan called Good Rx at the pharmacy to pay for my meds. It has really helped me save and I highly recommend checking the plan if a drug seems too expensive through your insurance.

              Comment


                #8
                Does this mean Spanish Fly is as good as Viagra?


                Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

                -George Carlin

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by FLA View Post
                  I use a free plan called Good Rx at the pharmacy to pay for my meds. It has really helped me save and I highly recommend checking the plan if a drug seems too expensive through your insurance.
                  Definitely. My mom started using it last year and it is saving her a bunch of money. There are some other similar programs. You should really check them all because they each have different contracts so a drug may be cheaper on Good Rx or Blink or one of the others.

                  Another thing to be aware of is your own insurance plan's system. There may be a preferred pharmacy chain (most likely CVS). Filling your prescriptions elsewhere can result in higher copays than if you use the preferred place. But still shop around because Walmart may be even cheaper than the preferred pharmacy.

                  There's no simple straightforward answer but there are substantial savings to be had with a little legwork.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    we all have a grocery store chain that has a list of generic meds they give out free. On the list are many of the older drugs for diabetes, hypertension, antibiotics and high cholesterol. They don't advertise it like they used to but it's still there.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by FLA View Post
                      we all have a grocery store chain that has a list of generic meds they give out free. On the list are many of the older drugs for diabetes, hypertension, antibiotics and high cholesterol. They don't advertise it like they used to but it's still there.
                      True, though the lists have gotten smaller over the years.

                      Walmart and others still have their $4/$10 plans too where you can get a 30-day supply for $4 or a 90-day supply for $10 of various generics. Those lists have also gotten shorter but if your med is on there, you're in good shape.
                      Steve

                      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I got an antibiotic the vet wanted $110 for for my dog for free at the grocery store. They took a script for a "person" named Buddy, lol

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                          Despite what many people think, generic drugs are perfectly safe and effective. Some patients think that they must be inferior because they cost less. That simply isn't true. There's a very good reason why they cost less and it has nothing to do with quality of product.

                          When a pharmaceutical company patents a new drug, they get exclusive rights to market that drug for a certain number of years. That gives them time to recoup their R&D costs which typically runs $2-$3 billion.

                          Once that patent runs out, other companies may start manufacturing and selling their versions of the same medicine. They don't have the $3 billion upfront cost to worry about so they can charge a whole lot less. The actual production of the medicine doesn't really cost that much, literally pennies per dose in most cases.

                          So the brand name drug might cost the pharmacy $5/pill and they sell it for $6. The generic might cost $0.25 and they sell it for $2. This also explains why some pharmacies are able to do things like WalMart's $4 generic plan. They can give you 30 pills for $4 and still make a profit because they are paying next to nothing for those pills because they buy in huge quantities. Some pharmacies even "sell" certain meds for free just to get customers into the store.

                          So is there any time when a generic isn't a good idea? There can be. Certain medications have what is called a narrow therapeutic range, meaning fairly precise dosing is important. This is true for things like thyroid medication and certain blood thinners. Even a 5-10% dose variation from batch to batch or company to company could be clinically significant so you should discuss this with your doctor.

                          I have encountered times over the years where someone just found that a generic wasn't working well for them, and sometimes it was a change from one generic to another. I handle those on a case by case basis as some people are more sensitive to the minor variance that can exist.

                          Overall, though, I prescribe generics whenever possible to reduce the cost to both the patients and the overall healthcare system. And I'm certainly not alone as about 80% of all prescriptions are for generic medicines.

                          I use generic medicines because it's more affordable.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Do Generic Medicines Help us treat better than Branded Ones

                            A generic drug is a medicine manufactured to be the same as an existing brand-name drug in tablet or pill form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, .A generic medicine acts as same way and provides the same c as its brand-name.

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