Bringing on the generic drugs

October 30, 2008
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Times are tough enough that more people are beginning to switch to generic drugs to save money. Insurers like Indianapolis-based WellPoint are playing a role, too, by pushing policy holders toward generics.

People also are splitting pills and seeing doctors less often to save hard-earned dollars.

The trend could cost pharmaceutical companies like Eli Lilly and Co. $10 billion in revenue in 2009 because prescription drug sales are projected to grow at the slowest rate in at least a half-century.

In the end, how will this affect health? Are people being penny wise and pound foolish? And are you as confident in generic medications as the original drugs?

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  • My doctors prescribe generics for me. Most of the time they work fine, but there are days I wonder if the meds contain anything other than filler. I wonder how good quality control is at generic drug manufacturing plants, or how good it is at brand name drug plants for that matter.
  • Joyce makes a good point in that there may be some variability in the quality and expected benefit of some generics. There are quite a number of them that do work well and from my expereince it is trial and error. It would be helpful to the consumer if there were a reliable and objective resource that provided information for more informed decision-making. My most recent experience was good which reinforces me to continue to consider this option. If insurance companies are beginning to formally recommend generics they will want to look at the reliability of what they are promoting. Perhaps that will put additional pressure on the generic drug industry to increase reliability and quality.

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