Are generic prescriptions brands a waste of money?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by fibrohugslife, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I just got back from my vacation and I saw a doctor out there and well she saw my prescriptions and told me that generics are a waste of money and time, as there is no way to know if they work well at all.

    She said that if I continued with the way I was going, I would end up crippled in a few years and I am too young to have that happen to me (I just turned 30 last month).

    She said that I was better off with getting the real deal but I would never be able to afford those on my salary of $0 a year. I am not sure the free prescription programs dish out the real deal meds or generics only.

    My dad was saying that the generics are just as good as the name brand and that is has to do with patents. My mom differs and says that the generics do not work as well as the name brand.

    So what is the deal with the generics? Am I wasting my money time? I know I have to take something for the pain I am in.

    My FMS and mental state is too bad go without any type of meds.

    So what do you think? And one comment is please no fighting here about the topic. I only want to discuss this. Any fighting, I will delete the thread.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/20/2006]
  2. JulieO

    JulieO New Member

    I'll type more later today, but wanted to post something real quick..............................I'm not awake/alert yet so won't be able to d

    There IS typically a difference between generic and brand RX medication. The generics can have up to 20-30% difference in active ingredient/s. My doc also said that the newer the generic drug, usually the better it is. The longer a generic drug has been out, the more likely it is to have a greater variance from the original brand version.

    Pharmacists won't disuss this at all. Apparently the pharmacy makes a LOT more$ if they sell the generics. My dr writes "brand name medically neccessary" on some of mine. And, I *can* tell a noticiable difference with certain meds.

    More later....I'm not awake yet & my eyes are closing! Hopefully what I wrote so far made sense!
  3. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member


    I personally don't know if there is a big difference. However, my doctor reacted similarly to yours. She told me that brand meds are more potent, purer, companies like Eli Lilly, etc. are held to higher standards and you know you are getting the real deal. With generics, she said standards are not as defined and you get lower quality drug and lots of fillers. I don't know if this information is correct, but it is what my doctor told me.

    It has made me question what I'm taking because all of my scripts are filled for generic unless there is only brand available. I've been meaning to ask a man who attends my church about this. He used to be a pharmacist.

    Don't know what to believe, but sometimes it comes down to finances.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/20/2006]
  4. sula

    sula New Member

    I have never found any difference in generics and the more expensive "real thing". I am convinced that many of our doctors are being trained/brainwashed by the pharmaceutical reps to downplay the generics....who loses in this deal.....certainly not you the patient, but the conglomerate pharmaceutical companies. They, in my opinion, are the BIGGEST problem quality medical care has today.
  5. hensue

    hensue New Member

    They do not work as well. My Dad who is dead now was on a generic high blood pressure pill. He had a mini stroke he said to get him back on the real pill. He was fine then. they have different fillers and stuff so the composition of the drug is different.
    For instance take advil and the generic for a headache or cramps you can tell a real difference. it is more expensive I will not eat just to try to get the real deal.
    I did an appeal to my insurance company and they pay for the real stuff she told him the generics did not work as well and i would have to take more drugs for pain if they did not give it. the real drugs usually do the job. The generics do not the insurance gave me the real stuff then at the right price.

    You have to fight for it.

    Just my input i hate generics! I dont care what any dr says or pharmacist says they are not the same.

    Thanks for listening
  6. bre_ann

    bre_ann New Member

    but I have found that most of the meds I've taken that were generic really didn't do what they were supposed to. Now maybe they wouldn't have anyway, I don't know. My husband had a prostate infection and he requested the cheapest med possible, he's been taking it for 2 months and I don't think it's 100% better yet. So, I haven't been impressed with generic but I always request it because it's way cheaper.
  7. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    When I read your first response to this post it sounded like you were talking from experience. I was hoping to find info about you in your profile.

    Thanks for explaining that you are a Pharmacist. And, thanks for explaining how the generic process works. I probably misunderstood my doctor. Maybe she didn't use the word "kickback", but it sure sounded that way to me. Maybe she meant that the profit-margin was higher as you explained.

    I will edit my post to remove the "kickback" information. I should know better than to quote information that I have no way of knowing is true or not. I am sorry. I hope I did not offend you.


    [This Message was Edited on 08/20/2006]
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Because generic drugs may contain different fillers and coatings, they may be absorbed differently in the body. Some inactive ingredients, in both brand names and generics, can upset people's stomachs. So, while generics have to, by law, contain the same active ingredients, they may work better or worse in individuals due to the inactive ingredients.

    I take generics whenever possible and they seem to work well for me. Some generics from some manufacturers work better than generics from other manufacturers, due to the inactive ingredients.

    The generic for Synthroid actually absorbs better than the brand name but it makes me shaky. Because it works better in my system, the dose is too high if I get the generic. The brand name is cheap, so I just buy the Synthroid. My pharmacist said that he thinks the generic is better than the brand name when it comes to Synthroid because it does seem to absorb and work better in the body.

    My conclusion is that each person is different and we each have to decide which works best for us. Generally speaking, I think generics work just fine but as you can see, when it comes to Synthroid, I prefer the brand name. I know that Dr. Cheney prefers brand name Klonopin but I have done well on the generic. I recently switched to a generic made by a different company and I'm not sure it's working as well. The difference isn't that great, though.

    Love, Mikie
  9. hensue

    hensue New Member

    I take Klonopin to sleep could not on the generic.
    glad it works for some people but not for me.

  10. hensue

    hensue New Member

    Have you taken a real advil for headache? Have you taken a generic? That is your answer the generic will not work as well or faster for pain.

    That is enough of my tyraid I think!

  11. foggyfroggy

    foggyfroggy Guest

    I have had a similar experience to others here only mine is with Trazodone. The brand name (Desyrel) works much better for me than the generic I tried first. The generic made me terribly congested; just locked me up. Even though my doctor wrote it out as a medical neccesity my pharmacist can no longer get the name brand from any of his suppliers so we are experimenting with generic made by different companies.

    The brand name Xanax worked a bit better but not enough to make any real difference. I haven't noticed any difference at all on anything else.

  12. AbbeyMae

    AbbeyMae New Member


    I almost got into trouble with a generic brand of Oxycodone.
    The generic brand name was, I believe Ethex. They were the plain oxycodone w/out the Acetaminophen and they were orange. That is what Osco gave me in 2003.

    Yet the Osco brand of generic Percocet was made by Roxanne Laboratories,(Roxicet) and they were more effective than the Mallinckrodt that Walgreens uses today and I think then.

    A friend here w/ back pain gets her generic Percocet at Walgreens and it says at the bottom of bottle--generic for Roxicet.

    I told her to try Osco brand because back in 2003, their generic was Roxicet, saying at the bottom of bottle, generic to Percocet. She did that and she agreed that the Roxicet was more effective.

    I forgot that at that time, about my oxycodone, the generic,(was either Mylan or Mallinckrodt and white), and was more effective at Walgreens.

    So I mistakenly got my Oxycodone 5mg at Osco, and opened it up at home and they were orange and said, "OH Sh#$", I was not thinking. I had taken them before.

    I ended up with an outbreak of shingles that month on top of fibro pain. That brand did Zilch. I was in bed for 24 days then. I took more than directed and was also on Soma and Lorazepam.

    Stupid me was honest w/ my somewhat new Doc, and he said that I was addicted. I got a script for ES Vicodin, and had no withdrawals from the Oxycodone,( was taking 1 and 1/2 tabs, 7.5mg. Where as before my old Doc(who did not take Medicaid and I ran out of $'s and had to change), had me on 1 5mg tab of Oxycodone and 1/2 tablet of Roxicet together. I also had better pain management with that. Some people need that buffer. So the new Dr., I do not understand why you would change something that is not broken.

    So, at that time I would get my Roxicet from Osco and Oxycodone at Walgreens. Well, I had a brain fart and forgot this one particular time. Plus the new "Medicaid" Dr. had changed my regimen an gave me all Oxycodone and no generic Percocet. I had no complaints about what I was on, (oxycoldone 5mg tablet and 1/2 tablet of Roxicet),so maybe it was a power play against my previous Dr. Power Plays have no business in Physicians, and their practice.

    Then, I ended up going to a Rheumy at this clinic that had a pharmacy in their clinic. Rheumy gave me a script for 2 weeks for 15mg of MS Contin(morphine sulfate), had it filled at their pharmacy and the brand was Ethex. Crap!

    Needless to say, it did nothing. The next two week trial after explaining to my Rheumy about that brand, I had filled the next two week script at Walgreens, they were different looking also blue in color and round where as the other,(Ethex) was brown and oblong in shape. Well Walgreens brand was, I believe Mallinckrodt or Mylan and lo and behold it worked.

    I use to go to college, (before fibro) and my major was Psychiatric Nursing, and did some voluntary work at a nearby Substance Abuse Center. Pt.'s there talked about this in group meetings. They would pay more for Roche Valium than generic and more for brand name Vicodin than generic. What does that tell you.

    I have a fibro acquaintance here in my town and she said that she was taking 10mg of Valium. She said before she could take 5mg if it was brand name Roche. Her Dr. understood her and believed her and changed her script to 10mg because her insurance would pay for generic w/ less copay. Generic and Name Brand are not the same!

    I also had my Pharmacy close out here because they were bought out by CVS and I have been taking clonazepam for 3 years. Well CVS gave me Teva Brand and it is not as effective as the Watson brand I use to get. Teva bought out IVAX and their distribution is in Miami but their Main Headquarters is in Israel. I don't know how comfortalble I feel about that.

    Did anyone watch 60 Minutes, about the fake Pharmaceuticals that were making it to our country. That was a very interesting segment. Some meds were just Drywall. Some people did die because of this. The segment focused on China and went under cover to reveal this. Now they are talking about putting R.F.I.D.'s on the boxes of some meds.
    They would be able to track these to the Pharmacies that carry these pharmaceuticals.

    The Pharmacist at CVS said that I can have my Dr. get an authorization for the name brand, because I do not have the effect I am suppose to on their generic Teva. Right now my co-pay would be $3.00 for name brand as opposed #1.00 I paid for generic. I am sure they do not want to lose my business. The Pharmacy is just too far in distance anyway.

    I may be losing my insurance w/ state medicaid soon,(I am on a slim line of going over income amount due to Back Arrears Child Support, I am receiving again).

    The Pharmacy that my scripts were transferred to is a distance and I have a Walgreens and Grocery store Pharmacy near me. I plan to write out all my scripts down and have each Pharm. let me know what generics they use, before I have them transferred.

    I had also heard from my fibro acquaintance that generics only have to have 80% of active ingredient. I would like to know what your Dr. says about that, Nicole. Please keep us updated.

    I know that the FDA is as crooked as the politicians. I had went to an Andrew Weil, M.D. Expo. here in Tucson back in 1997. One of the presentations had said Prozac,(Lily) was approved by the FDA without the proper measures that other meds must go through. They said George H.W. Bush was on the board at the time. And guess what Pharmaceutical Co. he had a lot of stock in, yeah Lily.

    I have a 1995 PDR and my friend has a 2005 PDR(Physicians' Desk Reference). Well my PDR does not have the newer drugs in it, but it is interesting that mine has more info. on methadone and others as compared to her 2005.

    In my PDR, the info was so much more, about circulatory distress and respiratory distress. My friend was experiencing both, shallow breathing and swollen ankles and calves from methadone. The info. in my PDR was much more informative than her 2005. So even the Dr.'s are not getting the full picture. Most of them do not research everything as they should. They just consider themselves too busy and most of them do not want to take their work home.

    I believe that is because they,(Pharmaceutical Companies) do not want you to know. Now days, you have to ask for an INSERT for a script. They only give you brief info. sheet with your scripts now. And when you ask for the manufacturer's INSERT, the writing is so small that you need a magnifying glass to read. They don't want you to read it. Most people don't.

    Please ask your Dr. about some of these subjects. I doubt if my Dr.would say because too much just goes over his head. Please keep us posted, Nicole.

    If I lose my insurance I will only have Medicare, (not the Medicare Advantage program,(HMO) and Medicaid. My Medicare will resume as it should where as the Advantage program,(HMO), took over my Medicare. I will be able to go back to my Rheumy or any Dr. that I chose. I can go back to my Chiropractor too, I have gone to him since 1989. I won't let just anyone give me adjustments.

    The sad part is I will have to sign up and pay for my Medicare part D, and my meds will probably cost me more co-pays. One day at a time.

    Love and Hugs,

    Abbey Mae

  13. AbbeyMae

    AbbeyMae New Member


    I am bumping this because I too would like to hear what others experiences and thoughts.

    Love and Hugs,

  14. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

  15. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

    The doctor was not my own doctor, I was referred to her by my cousin who is her doctor. I was kind of forced to go, you know how family is and all. So all my family which is about eeeh 200+ people vs me. Yeah they win LOL.

    Anyway she kept saying I wasted my money on the generics and well she prescribed the actual med that I was prescribed from the doctor in the hospital I go to for treatment in the pain clinic.

    The meds she gave me provided absolutely no relief to me. My pain actually increased. So I went back to what I was using which were generic meds and got relief, my pain was still bad but better than what she put me on, soooooooo the theory she had about generic brands she talked of was is questionable in my mind. She was saying all generic brands are bad, and only the name brand was good.

    By the way the med was Neurontin, and I am on the generic brand, Gabapentin. It works fine for me at a higher dosage which my pain clinic doctor prescribed for me.

    She told me a lot of other BS and basically I would have no life if I follow all that she was saying for me to do. I think she needs to come to the US and do an internship or volunteer out here to see what I am talking about.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/20/2006]
  16. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    There have been studies on some medications, head to head with the name brand and the generic.

    For instance Synthroid and Levoxyl were studied and Levoxyl was discovered to me RIGHT ON AND EVERY BIT AS EFFECTIVE, ABSORBED, ETC. as the Synthroid.

    However, the Synthroid cost two or three times as much.

    A lot of people swithed to levoxyl, and then an even cheaper generic, came out. Now, Levoxyl is considered "A BRAND NAME" BY SOME INSURANCE COMPANIES.

    In some situations generics do not work as well. My mother is on a combination diuretic and BP medication. When she took the two components separately, at the same time, and in the same dosage, IT DID NOT CONTROL HER BP AS WELL. Her BP device recorded the BP's at the same time of the day, on the same arm, with the meds being taken at the same time, and the device recorded the things, AND IT WAS IDENTIFIABLE THAT THE COMBINATION, FOR SOME REASON, WORKED BETTER.

    Her doctor had to complete a form, indicating the results to get the insurance company to pay for the new, combination, EXPENSIVE DRUG.



    With Allegra, the GENERIC works just as well for me.

    The same for Klonapin, Zanaflex, Atenolol, etc.

    Discuss it with the pharmacist and your doctor. There have been head to head studies, MOST OF WHICH COME FROM THE EU COUNTRIES on some name brands and generics from certain manufacturers, and they may have the results for your guidance.

    One must remember, as well, that different people react to different things differently.
  17. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

  18. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

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