Generic Prescript. costs = Name Brand...huh? (Read 1195 times)

Princess Cancer Pants

    The entire drug industry is whack, IMO.

    '18 Goals:

    • Recover from 2017

    • Surgery in March

    • Continue showing Cancer that it's not welcome back. Ever.

    • Rebuild to racing and big running & biking miles in 2019


    Getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to

    remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.    

         ~ Sarah Kay

    Feeling the growl again

      Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but ...


      I recently spent a good bit of time on the phone with the fine folks at Watson Pharmaceuticals, listed as the "manufacturer" of generic Concerta, as well as Johnson & Johnson, wending my way through their network to get someone at their Ortho-McNeil-Janssen pharma group.  I then got them to conference all three of us together.  A conversation ensued; I asked precise questions and, like any lawyer, I wasn't hesitant to point out when an answer didn't exactly address my question.  The outcome:


      Generic Concerta and branded Concerta are the same drug.  For any particular dose (say, 27mg): one oblong cylindrical pill is made; it contains methylphenidate and Janssen's "patented" OROS time-release polymeric technology; it is grey; it has ALZA 27 imprinted on one side; and those pills are bulk-packaged.  If it's destined to hit the market as branded CONCERTA, Janssen routes the bulk packages internally.  If it's destined to be on the market as the licensed generic, the bulk packages are shipped to Watson.  Watson has NOTHING to do with the manufacture of the generic pills, despite being listed on the pharmacy label as the manufacturer; all Watson does is (exclusively) market it.  There is no difference in how the the methylphenidate is distributed within the pill generally or within the OROS portion in particular.


      I didn't ask if they made them at more than one site or where the site(s) were, for fear they'd clam up on me.  But they were emphatic that the pills are identical: they make a single version of the pill and ship it to one of two different places, depending on its marketing fate.


      While I have not followed this specific example...


      What you are describing is not at all uncommon for an "authorized generic".  I'm assuming that Concerta recently went generic, probably within the past 6 months.  Due to what I will call some strange incentive mechanisms in the industry, the first generic manufacturer gets 6 months' exclusivity as the ONLY generic manufacturer.  An "authorized generic" is a mechanism for the original manufacturer to continue to make some revenue off the drug before full generic competition is opened up 6 months later.


      In other words, the fact that the pills are the same now does not mean that this will always be the case.  If you see another generic manufacturer enter, you may need to pursue your fact-finding inquiry all over again.


      If the formulation technology is indeed complicated, there is the possibility that additional generic companies may NOT enter the market and the price will remain higher than it otherwise would.


      Formulation is one area where generics can and do encounter issues.  For some drugs it has been proven that the generics do not match the release curve of the branded...enough different to affect efficacy.   Wellbutrin/bupriorion is an example of this.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand


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