Generic Prescript. costs = Name Brand...huh? (Read 1193 times)


Needs more cowbell!

    Can someone explain this to me?  A medication my son takes recently went generic.  We thought "yay, $5/month, vs. $35!"  Nope, still $35.  Color me confused.  So why not just fill it as name brand if the price to the patient is the same?  And why are some generics in the same class of drugs priced at $5, but not all?  I assume this is an issue with our lame-o drug coverage program...correct?

    I shoot pretty things! ~

    '14 Goals:

    • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

      Move to Canada.  All prescription medications I have taken in my life have been covered by tax money.  Big grin

      'No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch'

       

      "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"  - Peter Maher

       

      "Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run."  -Monte Davis


      Needs more cowbell!

        Ha, I'd love to live in Canada, eh!

        I shoot pretty things! ~

        '14 Goals:

        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

          One data point: Synthroid (Bristol-Myers Squibb) went off patent a while back.  SYNTHROID is still considered a brand-name drug and falls into a different (higher) tier than its fully generic counterparts made by other companies.  For some reason, the various generic equivalents don't seem to behave precisely the same, even in the same patient.  The largest body of data exists for Synthroid, so some docs prescribe Synthroid and disallow generic substitution.

          “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman


          A Dance with Monkeys

            Going off patent protection is just one part of the story.  Sometimes, drug companies are permitted to keep price point for a time.


            Needs more cowbell!

              For some reason, the various generic equivalents don't seem to behave precisely the same, even in the same patient.

               

              I know this is a concern with some medications...and we know the name brand med my son is on (Concerta) works well, so why would they even bother messing with the generic if the cost to us is the same.  Given that this drug affects his brain, I'd really rather stick with the known formulation.  I guess we'll give it a try this month, but if there are issues I think we'll definitely be having his ped. write the script differently next time.

               

              On a related note, a friend of mine's son is on the same med and the generic actually costs MORE than the name brand through her ins.  This stuff I simply do not understand...it makes no sense.  I know that sometimes a generic script costs less than an OTC, but that at least makes sense to me, since the OTC doesn't have the benefit of drug coverage plans.

              I shoot pretty things! ~

              '14 Goals:

              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


              Needs more cowbell!

                Going off patent protection is just one part of the story.  Sometimes, drug companies are permitted to keep price point for a time.

                 

                Ahh...OK.  The pharm. tech. said something to that effect, but not really explained clearly.  Still seems odd that they wouldn't just fill the script for the name brand, since the script was actually written for the patented drug.

                I shoot pretty things! ~

                '14 Goals:

                • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                xor


                  It is possible that your insurance doesn't cover name brand if generic is available.

                   


                  Needs more cowbell!

                    It is possible that your insurance doesn't cover name brand if generic is available.

                     

                    Ahhh...that I don't know.  We've never before run into a situation where the generic wasn't the preferable choice (price-wise).  You're probably on to something, there.

                    I shoot pretty things! ~

                    '14 Goals:

                    • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                      It is possible that your insurance doesn't cover name brand if generic is available.

                      That's what I was getting at.  Our insurance covers a fraction of the price of Synthroid since, as they correctly assert, generics are readily available.  But the doc won't write a script for a generic.  Despite her reasoned letter explaining this, they still won't cover it.

                       

                      My quick Googling says Concerta was initially patented, but that the patent was invalidated just last year.  It may be that other manufacturers have "equivalents" as to the methylphenidate but NOT as to the time-release aspect that supported Concerta's brief patent position.  (For the geeks out there: invalidity rested on the sufficiency of the technical disclosure in the patent, not on the compound's (lack of) inventiveness.  So if the disclosure was scarce, maybe that prevented others from duplicating it.)

                      “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                        I know this is a concern with some medications...and we know the name brand med my son is on (Concerta) works well, so why would they even bother messing with the generic if the cost to us is the same.  Given that this drug affects his brain, I'd really rather stick with the known formulation.  I guess we'll give it a try this month, but if there are issues I think we'll definitely be having his ped. write the script differently next time.

                         

                        I'm waiting to see how the generic Concerta plays out before switching anything up too.  The drug is the same, but Concerta's delivery system is fairly intricate.  Secondhand / antecdotal stories seem to indicate the generic may not be delivering as well/smoothly.

                         

                        That sh!t ain't cheap either!  Ouch.


                        Needs more cowbell!

                          I'm waiting to see how the generic Concerta plays out before switching anything up too.  The drug is the same, but Concerta's delivery system is fairly intricate.  Secondhand / antecdotal stories seem to indicate the generic may not be delivering as well/smoothly.

                           

                          That sh!t ain't cheap either!  Ouch.

                           

                          Yeah.  $35/month isn't even as bad as what a lot of people pay for it.  Crazy.

                          I shoot pretty things! ~

                          '14 Goals:

                          • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                          Needs more cowbell!

                            My quick Googling says Concerta was initially patented, but that the patent was invalidated just last year.  It may be that other manufacturers have "equivalents" as to the methylphenidate but NOT as to the time-release aspect that supported Concerta's brief patent position.  (For the geeks out there: invalidity rested on the sufficiency of the technical disclosure in the patent, not on the compound's (lack of) inventiveness.  So if the disclosure was scarce, maybe that prevented others from duplicating it.)

                             

                            Most ADHD drugs have the same active ingredient...what gets patented is the delivery method, as you noted with Concerta.  Kinda crazy that a drug company can take an ingredient, change the delivery system, then claim a brand new patent.  But this happened with Albuterol when the CFC propellant was banned.  Suddenly my generic rescue inhaler became name brand, again...and the new propellant is utter crap.  It clogs the mouthpiece and requires frequent rinsing.  So the inhaler I keep in my purse for sudden attacks doesn't always work.  Really sucks balls when I'm driving and discover this.  Today I was hacking away and had to stop at a rest area to rinse out my inhaler.  So I'm paying $35 for a device that doesn't really work when I need it to.

                            I shoot pretty things! ~

                            '14 Goals:

                            • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                              Yeah.  $35/month isn't even as bad as what a lot of people pay for it.  Crazy.

                               

                               

                              Yeah, I meant the full retail price... about $240/mo if you're rollin' up w/o insurance.

                                Have a talk with him about sneaking drinks.  I know this is random, but the other night we had an issue with a kid who's on Adderall and snuck away to have a few drinks with his buddy.  Paramedics, the whole nine. He's a pretty big kid and didn't drink too much.   I know yours is young yet, but boys will be boys.  

                                "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus