As America’s consumption of prescription medication increases, and we look for further ways to conserve and save money in these economic times, we turn more and more frequently to generic medication as a means of decreasing our medical spending. Although they offer a low cost alternative to the name brand options, you must consider the potential effects, and lack of effectiveness, when switching to a generic form of medication.
Generic, or knock off, drugs have come under increasingly public and governmental scrutiny due to their lack of effectiveness and safety compared to their name brand counterparts. The Food and Drug Administration has been testing generic drugs for some time, and just recently began to withdraw generic forms of medication due to their lack of effectiveness, and prevalence of side effects. The issues appearing with generic medication mirrors many of the same issues found in all generic forms of name brand products. Lack of effectiveness, higher risk of side effects or damaging production, and potentially unregulated manufacturing and distribution, all lead to what should be increased concern in consumers deciding to purchase the generic alternatives.
The issues with generic drugs come with the apparent ease of manufacture. Whereas an original prescription drug can take years of development, and millions in research, a previously tested original drug can be produced in generic form much easily after appropriate vetting from the original manufacturer. Although the FDA has recently cracked down on the regulation and testing of generic drugs, their use and distribution is still held by the agency in a positive light. Advertising campaigns and other means of “pushing” the generic forms of prescription drugs remains prevalent in the medical community and in patient decision making when choosing the generic form of medication.
When deciding upon which type of medication to purchase after being prescribed dosage from your physician, it is important to always be informed of the differences in not only price, but effectiveness and complications, from generic vs. original manufactured brands. Your doctor should stay well informed on the potential benefits and issues with both choices, and always feel free to seek a second opinion to ensure that your physical, and mental wellbeing is, and remains, in good health.
About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC). The attorneys publish articles and edit the Legal Examiner for the Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Northeast North Carolina regions as pro bono service.