Generic Drugs are Cheaper! But are they Better?

by Kristina on July 14, 2011 · 5 comments

Yesterday I went to the pharmacy to pick up my monthly prescription and they pharmacist asked me if I wanted the generic brand of my prescription because it is $4 cheaper.  Without hesitation I replied “No Thank You” and proceeded to pay for my regular prescription.  Without going into too many details my monthly prescription makes sure that I remain a DINK ;)

Last month when I went to the pharmacy to pick up my monthly prescription they didn’t have my normal prescription in stock and ensured me that the generic option for my monthly drugs is just as strong and effective  as the name brand drugs.  Since I didn’t know anything about generic drugs at the time, and some protection is better than no protection, I accepted the generic brand of my DINK ensuring monthly drugs.  Although I did question how a pharmacy could be out of drugs?

I am not sure if the ingredients in the generic drugs are not the same as my name brand monthly drugs, or if my body was just used to my normal prescription, but last month we had a DINKS scare.  I told my boyfriend Nick that even though we didn’t plan for this to happen it seems that someone up in the heavens (or someone deep down in the belly of the Earth) has another plan for us.  Needless to say it was a false alarm and my body just reacted (horribly) to the generic drugs.  Not only did my monthly cycle get out of order, I was also nauseous for a few days.

Now that I think of it, last November when I visited my Doctor for my annual physical check up and prescription renewal he asked me if I wanted the generic version of my regular DINKS ensuring monthly prescription.  I said No because I have been taking my normal monthly prescription for over 10 years and I am very adverse to change.  I also don’t like it when my Doctor suggests new (generic) drugs because I always feel that he has a hidden agenda, such as the perk of a weekend in Florida from the pharmaceutical rep.

Even though my Pharmacist guaranteed that the generic version of my name brand drug was the exact same as my normal monthly prescription this was obviously not the case.  I don’t really care about saving the $4 on my monthly prescription because 90% of my prescription drug costs are covered by my employer medical benefits.

Maybe generic drugs are a cost efficient option for a first time prescription, but if your body has been using the same name brand drug for 10 years, switching to a generic brand of drugs may not be a good choice; at least it wasn’t for me.

I decided to get some information and read up about the growing trend of Doctors and Pharmacists recommending generic brand drugs instead of name brand medication.

Here are some facts about Generic Brand Drugs:

  • Generic Drugs are used to fill approximately 40% of all prescriptions.
  • Using Generic Drugs can save the Health Care system $1.5 billion per year.  This money can be allocated to other Health Care services such as Doctors, Nurses, Clinics, and Research.
  • Even if our drug costs are covered by an Employer Health Plan expensive drugs are costly for everyone through tax increases, higher premiums, or cuts in our Health Care Services.
  • Generic Drugs are held to the same Quality and Efficacy standards as Name Brand Drugs.
  • Generic Drugs may look different and have a different name, but they contain the same medical dosage as Name Brand Drugs.  The major difference is the lower cost.
  • The suppliers of Generic Drugs are in many cases the same as Name Brand Drugs.
  • Generic substitutes are not yet available for all Name Brand Prescription Drugs on the market.

Photo by EPsos



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