Got Meds?

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  • #1541903

    icemelter
    Participant

    Brand name vs Generic. How is it that generics are so much cheaper than brand name medication? Are brand name really better than most generic? How do brand name still able to charge so much when generics are like 1/4 of the price? Do some people buy brand name thinking its better than generics or safe/more effective? If everyone trusted generics wouldnt brand names go out of business or forced to lower prices in order to compete? You can literally get 50 advils or 50 tylenol for like $1.29 (Target Up & Up brand). Depending on your insurance most of the time prescriptions will be generic pills, as well as hospitals use generic. So whats the real difference here?

    #1541921

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    The difference is who you can sue if something goes wrong.

    #1542142

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    The difference is in the binder ingredients, not the active ingredients of the specific medication. Some generics are high in starch on the binder side and can cause problems for people with diabetes. My BIL had this problem and for three of his medications the doctor must check BRAND MEDICALLY NECESSARY. His insurance company stopped complaining after they paid for his third hospitalization caused by reaction to a substituted generic drug.

    #1542343

    Midwest2
    Participant

    litvishechosid – the process works like this:

    1. A drug company does research and testing to develop a new drug, which costs $$$.

    2. They patent it and sell it at a big profit to make back their investment and get lots of cash because:

    3. After the patent – which usually isn’t decades long – runs out other companies can make the same drug, called a generic (general), but since they didn’t pay the costs of developing it they can charge a lot less. They compete with the “brand name” original drug, and for most people the benefits are the same at a much lower price.

    4. Insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible, and other stakeholders in health care also want to keep costs down, so they require that the pharmacist will automatically use the cheaper generic unless the doctor says otherwise.

    5. But as CTL says, the non-active ingredients in the generic may be different than in the brand name, which may cause some people problems, so the doctor can specify “brand name only.” So if you’re using a generic drug for whatever and you have symptoms, keep track of them and tell your doctor immediately.

    6. The same works for over-the-counter drugs. Generic ibuprofen and Advil have the same active ingredient, but different stuff making up the pill itself.

    7. Keep your doctor informed and follow his/her advice.

    8. Some people think that the big drug companies are using the threat from generics to keep their prices artifically high, costing us lots of $$$ extra. If you want illustrations of this, google “Shkreli” and “Epipen,” about a drug company that got itself busted for increasing the price of a life-saving emergency drug through the roof.

    #1542354

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    CTL: Thanks for the info. I never realized why my child’s BG goes crazy when taking certain medications.

    #1542514

    icemelter
    Participant

    CTlaywer-“The difference is in the binder ingredients, not the active ingredients of the specific medication.”

    -That I know, but aside from the inactive ingredients being different, do they have any unwanted interaction with the active ingedients?

    You mention generics having ingredient that have a negative impact on some users. Whos to say that the brand name are better though? Are brand names geared toward all people as opposed to generics? Do all generics substitute ingredients with ones that arent as good? If you look at coca- cola for instance which is unhealthy as it is, a generic brand making the same drink might be less harmful than the actual original one.

    So the question is are brand name meds better than generics “in general” or is it that sometimes you just have to weed through certain brands (generic or non) in order to get the right one for you.

    #1542598

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    Also, to add to Midwest’s comments, the drug company invests big $$$ in many drugs that fail clinical trials and never make it to the market, so the profit from those that actually are successful needs to cover the R&D costs of the failures as well. Makers of generic drugs, if that is all they do, don’t have that issue.

    #1543506

    icemelter
    Participant

    Midwest-“Some people think that the big drug companies are using the threat from generics to keep their prices artifically high, costing us lots of $$$ extra. ”

    -Im not sure what that means. What threat, that generics are bad?

    Also unless someone specifically needs to avoid certain ingredients in a generic and needs a brand name, I can understand why someone might go for that. Not that a brand name is guaranteed to solve the problem, I mean unless brand name drugs are custom fit for everyones needs which I dont think they are, why buy it over the other which is much less expensive? Whos promising that brand names dont have any inactive ingredients that one needs to avoid over generics? And there are also usually more than one generic company or these types so they can just toggle through different generics.

    It seems to me that many people might get a brand name thinking its safer or more effective than generic. Is there any truth to that? I mean unless its like a dollar difference then maybe you can get a brand name over generic, but even then, is there any advantage? Can inactive ingredients interfere and affect the active ingredient? Otherwise Im not sure why or how brand names would stay in business once the generic versions come out. I mean purchasing a box of 25 tylenol brand for like 4 or 5 bucks which might seem like a deal, when you can get a box of 50 for a dollar and some change, the former isnt that tempting after all.
    (We should never need to use these things just speculation)

    #1543535

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    LC
    ” How is it that generics are so much cheaper than brand name medication?”
    the generic doesnt have to pay for development

    ” Are brand name really better than most generic?”
    no.

    ” How do brand name still able to charge so much when generics are like 1/4 of the price?”
    Name recognition

    ” Do some people buy brand name thinking its better than generics or safe/more effective?”
    sure. it is a big planet. People do all sorts of things

    ” If everyone trusted generics wouldnt brand names go out of business or forced to lower prices in order to compete? ”
    no since the brand name has exclusve rights for the first 7 years.

    ” So whats the real difference here?”

    There usually isnt.

    That said the target blood level achieved can sometimes be differtent. This usually doesnt matter but with some medications wit ha narrow thereputic index (i.e. too high level or too low a leve lis bad) then sticking to a known more predictable brand is sometimes necesary.
    Furthermore, the inactive ingridents may vary thus a person can have a reaction to say atorvostatin(generic) but not lipitor (brand) or vice versa. Though this is rare

    “It seems to me that many people might get a brand name thinking its safer or more effective than generic. Is there any truth to that?”
    Generally not and certainly not for ibuprofen or acetaminophen

    iacrisma
    ” I never realized why my child’s BG goes crazy when taking certain medications.”

    It seems doubtful for any small difference in the inactive ingredient to make glucose “go crazy”

    #1543531

    DovidBT
    Participant

    I used to use a prescription fluoride toothpaste. There were two brands available, both with the same amount of fluoride. The less expensive brand was half the price, but had a terrible taste. If it were a pill or liquid medication that takes a couple of seconds to swallow, I wouldn’t care about the taste. But the taste of toothpaste remains in your mouth for a while (in this case, you’re not supposed to rinse for 30 minutes), so I used the more expensive brand.

    #1543562

    icemelter
    Participant

    DovidBT- ya many times generics don’t have as good a taste as name brands. With toothpastes and mouthwash and the like some might opt out of generics that don’t match up to brand names.

    Ubiquitin-“since the brand name has exclusve rights for the first 7 years”
    -first 7 years of what, from when generics come out? I think generics can only come out 20 years after invention of the drug(google). Even if it’s 7 years that only the brand name can sell, so what? What do they do once generics come out if most/everyone only bought generics since it’s so much cheaper.
    Again unless there are specific circumstances that brands are required, if people knew that generics are as safe/effective and the same as brand name, everyone would get generic as per price wise. In that case wouldn’t brands be forced to lower or match prices lest they go out of business?

    Another point is aren’t original brands usually one step ahead of competition? I usually don’t drink coke but who here besides for me actually prefers the knockoff to the coca cola company? Probably not many. And many other such cases where we see that the original products which came out before everyone usually have the upper hand in what they offer. Verizon in phone service, apple/Samsung in phones, sharpies in permanent markers, etc. So how can it be that brand name drugs have pretty much no advantage over generics and don’t differ? Or do they?

    #1543563

    Midwest2
    Participant

    “It seems to me that many people might get a brand name thinking its safer or more effective than generic.”

    Yup. It’s called advertising. and we’re swamped with it. Back in the day prescription drug companies weren’t allowed to advertise to consumers, only to doctors. Boy, has that changed.

    Bottom line: generics are cheaper and just as good, except for a few people who have problems, and their doctors can take care of that. As a general rule, buy generic. If you do have a problem, ask your doc and probably get the brand name. Why pay more for some fancy printed name on the label?

    #1543583

    icemelter
    Participant

    Midwest-“Bottom line: generics are cheaper and just as good, except for a few people who have problems, and their doctors can take care of that. As a general rule, buy generic.”

    Again how can it be that those few people will have a problem with generics and not the name brand? Can name brands ensure that absolutely noone has an issue with their ingredients? Also are generics not allowed to use the same inactive ingredients because that would certainly solve a lot of issues. Why do generics substitute inactive ingredients?

    “If you do have a problem, ask your doc and probably get the brand name.”
    -Wouldnt you also have the option of trying a different generic brand before you jump to name brand? I mean they differ with what inactive ingredients they contain. Why is it always a guarantee that name brand will be the fix?

    #1543589

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “I think generics can only come out 20 years after invention of the drug (google)”

    that isnt quite right. After 20 years from when a atent is submitted the patent is expired and anybody can produce the drug. (note: this clock starts several years befoe the drug actually becomes available, since the patent is obviously submitted relatively early in the development process)
    Though you are right. the 7 year refers to exclusivity in specific cases and isnt generalizable.

    “What do they do once generics come out if most/everyone only bought generics since it’s so much cheaper”

    for any number of reasons. people think its better, name recognition. I (and many I know) refer to generic acetaminophen as “tylenol” much as many refer to any bandage as a “bandaid” Dominos sugar produces most of the “generic sugar” available in your grocery Yet many pay mor for the “brand name” sugar from the same plant that they insist tastes better.

    “Again unless there are specific circumstances that brands are required,”
    Again these exist, but are few and far between.

    “if people knew…”
    Yes, but many dont

    ” So how can it be that brand name drugs have pretty much no advantage over generics and don’t differ? Or do they?”

    I lost you here. They do have an advantage. Isnt that the point of your thread?
    Now I dont think anybody says alleve tastes better than naproxen. but it certianly has better name recognition. As mentioned if I want my wife to pick up acetaminophen I ask her “please pick up tylenol” she knows I mean generic. These companies like Coca cola spend years developing their “brand”. Many refer to any cola drink as a “coke”

    #1543628

    icemelter
    Participant

    ubiquitin-“I lost you here. They do have an advantage. Isnt that the point of your thread?”

    -yes an advantage only based on peoples lack of knowledge. But if they dont have a product that is actually better than the competition then they have nothing, its a false advantage. Again if and when people are sure that generics are the same or just as good, the brand names will crumble because there is nothing substantial in their product over the rest. As it is most people probably buy generic anyway. I stumbled on an article and it mentioned that many of those who buy brand name are just not knowledgeable about the difference. So if people were aware, it would be a whole different playing field.

    “As mentioned if I want my wife to pick up acetaminophen I ask her “please pick up tylenol” she knows I mean generic.”

    -Yes because she knows that you usually get the generic. Besides most people call it by the brand name which is much more popular than the actual drug/scientific name.

    “Many refer to any cola drink as a “coke””
    ” refer to generic acetaminophen as “tylenol” much as many refer to any bandage as a “bandaid” ”

    -yes and most people say “xerox something” when they arent using xerox, or “google it” regarding doing an internet search, “scotch tape” for any type of tape, “crazy glue” for super glue, “tums” for an antacid, and so on. That doesnt prove anything. People just call things in terms of the original product or most popular product, it doesnt mean they are actually referring to it rather they refer to its functionality. Popularity of name doesnt mean youll buy it if the generic or competition is just as good.

    Also if you notice many knockoffs of name brands have almost identical color schemes and packaging. I wonder how they get away with that. Unless its perfectly legal to copy the competition in terms of packaging design, this might prove that many name brands also disguise themselves as generic to maximize revenue from all angles.

    #1543645

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    I think copying colors is okay as long as the color is not trademarked.

    #1543668

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    Trust is a big factor when it comes to people’s health, so people turn to brand names since their name recognition often inspires more trust, rightly or wrongly. Even those people who routinely buy the generic/store brand for other items, when it comes to health, they want the best and are afraid that saving money will ultimately compromise their health. It’s the same reasoning behind why people insist on going to THE top doctor for medical procedures (and will pay out of pocket or fund-raise, because their insurance doesn’t cover that Dr), when often enough, the procedure is simple and any good doctor with reasonable experience can handle it just as well as the top Dr.

    #1543701

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “But if they dont have a product that is actually better than the competition then they have nothing, its a false advantage. ”

    Brand recognition isn’t a false advantage.
    Many people insist they like coke better than Pepsi, although Pepsi does consistently better in blind taste tests.

    “Again if and when people are sure that generics are the same or just as good,”

    That is a giant “if”
    And who will tell them? Obviously not the generic since spending money on an advertising campaign would defeat the purpose.

    “Besides most people call it by the brand name which is much more popular than the actual drug/scientific name.”
    EXACTLY
    “That doesnt prove anything. ”

    It does. That is the very point I’m making. If you’ve managed to define your brand with the item to the point where it is used interchangeably it defines the brand. People who walk into a store will buy the brand they recognise.

    “Popularity of name doesnt mean youll buy it if the generic or competition is just as good.”
    It doesn’t mean I’ll buy it but many many will

    #1543863

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Certain name brand medications seem to work better for me than generic.

    I could never tell the difference in sugar.

    Pepsi is sweeter than Coke, which is why it wins taste tests, but that doesn’t mean it tastes better.

    #1543931

    Midwest2
    Participant

    litvishechosid: every medicine you take is made up of two things: the drug itself (called the “active ingredient”) and some starch, for a solid pill, or liquid (inactive ingredients), to make up the bulk of the medicine, since the amount of the drug itself is too small to make a pill out of. A generic drug has the same active ingredient as the brand name, but the inactive (filler) ingredients will differ.

    There’s an effect in medical issues called “placebo,” That means that just taking the medicine makes someone feel better even if the medicine has no “real” effect. Nobody has ever been able to figure out exactly how it works, but it’s real and it can really mess up your drug research. So there’s a technique in experimentation called a “double blind” trial.

    You take your group of people for testing, and divide them randomly into two groups. One group you give the real medicine to, and the other you give a fake sugar pill that looks exactly like the real one (one of the “blinds” in “double-blind”). Then you have them evaluated by doctors who don’t know which patient is getting which (the second “blind” in the “double-blind.”) This way you’re sure that the doctors aren’t subconsciously changing their evaluation to go with their previous knowledge and the patients aren’t having a placebo effect and confusing both themselves and the doctors.

    All drugs which go on the market have to pass this kind of test – brand-name or generic. For generic they test the drug ingredient against both the brand-name and a sugar pill, to make sure it acts the same. So there is no difference in the drug itself, just in the fillers the companies use to make up the pill.

    #1544011

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    DY
    “Pepsi is sweeter than Coke, which is why it wins taste tests, but that doesn’t mean it tastes better.”

    what does that mean?
    IF Pepsi wins blind taste tests (ie people say they prefer the taste of it to coke when they don’t know which is which ) doesn’t that mean it tastes better?

    “Certain name brand medications seem to work better for me than generic.”
    Many people say that. Though it doesn’t mean it is true. Just like many people (myself included) say they prefer the taste of Coke to Pepsi (though I don’t know of any study comparing efficacy of brand vs generic Tylenol)

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