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Are generics as good as name brands?

For many years, people have been advised to purchase generic pharmaceuticals, especially with the rising costs of drugs. So, when the attorneys at Levin & Perconti saw this article in the New York Times, we wanted to ensure that our readers were aware. Obviously, despite what the article suggests, generic pharmaceuticals save Americans billions of dollars yearly and provides injured or ill people with access to drugs at affordable prices.

The New York Times recently suggested, however, that there is a growing concern among doctors and researchers that some prescription generic drugs may not be as effective as their brand-name counterparts. Luckily, the drug effectiveness problem is not pervasive. Nonetheless, it is an issue that consumers should be aware of, especially when insurers sometimes insist that patients take generic medications when they are available.

The article highlighted stories of “misadventures” from people who had poor experiences with generic drugs. Some patients who were switched from a brand name drug to a generic one experienced side effects, found that their symptoms returned, or found that their symptoms became worse than before they were medicated. Recently, complaints have been heard about generic forms of the antidepressant Wellbutrin XL, the heart medicine Toprol, and the antiseizure medicine Keppra. Some specialists, including cardiologists and neurologists, are concerned about generic formulations of drugs in which a slight variation could have a serious effect on a patient’s health.

Read the full New York Times article available here to learn more about the growing concern of generic drug effectiveness.