Q. I can’t believe so many people complain about generic drugs on your website. Generics are required by law to contain the exact same active ingredients in the same quantities. What does it matter if the inactive ingredients differ? They’re inactive.
I am really disappointed that the People’s Pharmacy offers a forum to uninformed morons who don’t mind paying 700 percent more for a brand name. Just because it has a name doesn’t mean it’s any better, only more expensive.
A. For 25 years we agreed with your position that generic drugs were identical to brand names and a great way to save money. Over the last decade, however, we have seen too many complaints about generics from patients and physicians to ignore them.
Comments like this scare us:
“My epilepsy was controlled for five years on Keppra (brand name) until my insurance switched me to generic levetiracetam. I started seizing again. My doctor said the generic is less effective for other patients too and switched me back to the brand.”
Hundreds of visitors to our website have reported similar failures with certain generic antidepressants, blood pressure drugs and sleeping pills. So many medications are manufactured overseas that the FDA has trouble monitoring their quality. There is an in-depth discussion of the generic drug controversy in our new book, Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them (Crown).