Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An even playing field please.

I admit to being a little confused here. Why aren't manufacturers of generic drugs held to the same standards of the patent manufacturers and vice versa? This is a tad confusing.

There are lawsuits out there about side effects from generic drugs which are being heard in the Supreme Court.

Basically a generic is the same as the original medication. Federal law requires generic drug makers to provide identical ingredients, warnings, and labels as brand-name products.

If generics make up 80% of the drugs sold in the US, they should have the same accountability standards as the original manufacturer. And any side effects are therefore more likely to occur to the generic manufacturers.

"Drug companies have long asserted various doctrines of pre-emption, saying they are protected from most product-liability claims if they have met federal safety approval standards."

[This is a load of crap in my opinion. No one is above the law.]

"They argue that federal regulatory judgments trump state consumer safety laws, which are often tougher than Washington's standards.

But the high court had given a big victory to patients and consumer rights groups in 2009 when it ruled in favor of plaintiff who sued Wyeth -- now owned by Pfizer -- after losing an arm to gangrene from a common, brand-name anti-nausea prescription medication. She had won a $7 million judgment from a Vermont jury for her claims."

[About time.]

"Then last year, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that generic drug companies do not share the same level of responsibility as makers of brand-name equivalents, to update their warning labels when significant new risks emerge."

[Seriously?]

Its time to even the playing field here.

3 comments:

Michelle Pammenter Young said...

Hi Caroline, I'd like to chat with you about something. Please email me at michellepammenteryoung at gmail dot com

or see my contact information on my blog
www.pammenteryoung.com

Thanks,
Michelle

Andrea said...

I have always heard that the "active" medication in a generic drug is the same as the name brand...but the stuff that the active medication is in (the "carrier" of the drug) doesn't have to be the same.

I'm on a hypertensive medication named Toprol XL. I absolutely can NOT take the generic of this drug. It gives me heart palpitations & "flips". But I have no problem taking name brand. *However* my doctor doesn't believe it & therefore still prescribes the generic for me. Thus, my insurance company will only pay for generic. I must pay for name brand out-of-pocket.

Disgusting but there it is. I've taken the generic by accident before (3x actually) and all 3 times, without knowing what was up, my heart went crazy after 24-48 hrs. on the generic.

I don't have much faith in doctors, the pharmaceutical industry, all the "A's" (AMA, FDA, yada, yada, yada), any of it. I take my hypertension meds because I have to or I'll have a stroke. But these meds are doing other things to my body & I'm going to end up having a stroke anyway, somewhere down the line (drs have said round about my 60th b/d...I'll be 57 this summer). I'd love to just stop taking all my meds & let come what may. But the pressure that builds up in my body is breath-taking. Even my teeth feel like they're going to jettison out of my head sometimes. Ugh!

God bless us all--Andrea

Caroline said...

The stories about reactions to generics always make me wonder if the 'recipes' the manufacturers follow are the same. Could the original manufacturers not be sharing everything? Or are the generic manufacturers changing something?