Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Generic vs. Branded Drugs
I dont know why I never shared this before! I was reading Jens Blog and this was one of her latest blogs. Its about Generic vs Branded name drugs for Epilepsy. Now Camerans Neurologist has always warned us of this from the beginning making sure we always stayed clear of the generics when it came to her seizure meds. For many it can make a difference and he wanted to make sure she always got the full pontential of the medicine he prescribed. So I'm glad Jen put this out there, maybe it will make a difference for some! Heres her post:
November 12, 2008 at 2:42 pm by Jen S.
I learned some interesting stuff at the Epilepsy conference last week.
Many know that a generic drug varies from a branded drug in terms of binding agents and inactive ingredients, while still maintaining the same medicinal component. But here is what I found most interesting.
The FDA law approves a generic drug if it provides 80-125% of the medicinal drug component of the branded drug 90% of the time. So you can get anywhere from 80% to 125% of the actual drug. Also, the drug may hit your bloodstream at different intervals or “last” in your bloodstream for less (or more) time. For most drugs, this isn’t a concern, but for people with Epilepsy, this is critical.
Also, it is important to note that generics made by different manufacturers vary also. So a generic by Company A may work for your child, but a generic from Company B may allow breakthrough seizures. The pharmacy that dispenses your medication may vary the manufacturer MONTH TO MONTH!!
By law in most states (and here in NY), the pharmacy HAS to give you the generic drug version (if available) and the doctor has not written “Dispense as Written” on the script.
For instance, if you are currently on Keppra with a 12 month script renewal, come January 09, the pharmacy will switch you to the generic, levetiraceratim. (note this website says March 2010 http://epilepsy.emedtv.com/keppra/generic-keppra.html not sure of the correct info)
I urge everyone to talk to their neurologists about this and get their opinion based on your child or your scenario.
One last thing, I also learned there are about 6 new neurology drugs in the pipeline for the next 2 years. So for those that just can’t get seizure freedom, keep hoping!