Generic Medications

We are often asked if we can write a prescription for the brand name of the drug instead of the generic version. We are happy to do whatever is best for patients, and most often we will write for the brand name drug, and also do whatever we can to ensure that you’ll be able to get your insurance company to pay for it.

Some background about this issue is perhaps useful though. Generic medications are regulated by the FDA. Manufacturers of generic medications must submit studies that demonstrate that their products result in blood levels that are at least 80% and less than 120% of the blood levels that result when patients take the brand-name product. The vast majority of the time generic medications are just as effective and safe as their brand-name counterparts. However there is possibly a small minority of people who have some reaction to the inert ingredients that generic medications use. Meaning that some people perhaps don’t absorb the medication in generic pills or absorb too much of the medication in generic pills because the inert ingredients  that make the pill (the binders, coloring, and fillers which are necessary to produce any pill)  affect their metabolism of the medication. This is truly rare but it does happen.

“To date, no generic product accepted as equivalent using FDA Guidances has been shown to result in a safety and efficacy profile different from its brand counterpart.”

Bolton, S; AAPS J. 2005 Mar 30;7(1):E47-53.