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Promoting generics instead of brand names

December 20, 2012

PRESCRIBED drugs can be costly, especially for those who suffer from chronic illnesses. One way to save money is to use generics whenever clinically appropriate, instead of drugs having a brand name, which can be more costly.

The Food and Drug Administration approved generic: they have the same effect on the body as brand-name medications. Generic drugs must meet the same strict FDA standards for quality, strength, purity, stability and safety as brand-name drugs.

According to a survey, nearly 60 per cent of consumers say they’re not knowledgeable about generics, and what they don’t know about generics may be costing them a lot of money. If you have a chronic condition for which you’re taking long-term medications, you can talk to pharmacists to learn more about how generics can help you save money. Generic drugs typically cost 30 to 80 per cent less than their brand names. Once a brand-name drug loses patent protection, other manufacturers can produce a generic version that usually costs less.

Step-therapy programmes require patients to try a generic drug first before providing coverage for brand-name drugs.

DR SIDRA SARWAR Lahore