I was on my way to the office this morning when I heard this NPR story "Study: Generic Anti-Depressant Ineffective by Joanne Silberner".
It is extremely rare that I don't mark the box --allow generic substitute -- on the prescriptions I write. When I am the patient, I ask for generics. So this news report gave me pause. According to the FDA, the definition of a generic drug is:
"A generic drug is identical, or bioequivalent to a brand name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use. Although generic drugs are chemically identical to their branded counterparts, they are typically sold at substantial discounts from the branded price."
The same FDA page goes on to reassure:
"Health professionals and consumers can be assured that FDA approved generic drugs have met the same rigid standards as the innovator drug. To gain FDA approval, a generic drug must:
- contain the same active ingredients as the innovator drug(inactive ingredients may vary)
- be identical in strength, dosage form, and route of administration
- have the same use indications
- be bioequivalent
- meet the same batch requirements for identity, strength, purity, and quality
- be manufactured under the same strict standards of FDA's good manufacturing practice regulations required for innovator products"
I am like "Cheryl" in the NPR story, I am a fan of generics. Still if you (and your doctor) do not feel that you are getting the benefits expected from your prescription, you may want to try the "name" brand.