13 May Are generic medications of adequate quality?
Have you ever been to a pharmacist and asked if you would like the ‘chemist’s preferred brand’, or the generic form of a medication? A generic drug is much less expensive to buy and also to develop because the company does not have to cover the extensive costs of research and development. However, when the patent on a drug runs out and certain companies are allowed to then manufacture the drug, the usual way that they create their own version is through reverse engineering.
The original company is not going to hand over the manufacturing blueprint, so companies developing generic drugs are free to use their own formulations, as long as these are found to be within a confidence interval of bioequivalence, then they may be sold to consumers as generic drugs.
My experience of this has been nothing short of a nightmare. Every time I am given a cheaper form of the same medication, everything goes pear shaped. There was the time I tried a cheaper brand of nicotine patch and got so angry out of nowhere, or the time I got a generic antidepressant and spent days in tears.
I tend to agree with some doctors who say that generic medication should not be used as a substitute for the branded and more expensive versions. It is too risky!
Have you had any experiences with generic medication?