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FDA Agrees to Start Testing Generic Drugs - Huge Victory for Patients!

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Without admitting that there is a problem with generic drugs, the  U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just announced that it is initiating a $20 million testing program. The FDA's new Office of Pharmaceutical Quality will scrutinize generic drugs, over-the-counter medications and brand name products in an effort to improve quality.

This is an incredible about-face by the FDA and a huge victory for patients. It is also a testimony to the thousands of stories people have shared on this and other web sites about their problems with generic drugs. In particular, the FDA admits that the new testing program evolved in part from the discovery that a generic version of Wellbutrin XL 300 (Budeprion XL 300 from Teva) was not bioequivalent to the brand name. That was a direct result of hundreds of patient reports on this website.

The FDA still states on its website that:

"All generic manufacturing, packaging, and testing sites must pass the same quality standards as those of brand name drugs, and the generic products must meet the same exacting specifications as any brand name product."

That may seem reassuring, but it is quite clear that the FDA has not had the resources to regularly monitor manufacturing abroad. Serious flaws in foreign pharmaceutical plants have come to light in recent years. India now supplies 40% of over-the-counter and generic medications sold in the U.S. The FDA inspected 160 Indian drug plants in 2013 out of the 500 that are registered to export medicines to the U.S. That might not seem like many, but it is three times more than were inspected in 2009.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, is just back from a trip to India where she was presumably trying to improve quality standards. Improvement is essential. The FDA recently banned all exports from Ranbaxy, the largest drug company in India, because of concerns about faulty data and flaws in manufacturing. Another large Indian company, Wockhardt, also came under fire in recent months because of serious violations. It too has had drugs banned from the U.S. market.

Sadly, the top drug regulator in India seems to have undermined Commissioner Hamburg's trip. Even before the ink was dry on a statement of cooperation between India and the U.S., the top Indian drug regulator was quoted:

"If I have to follow US standards in inspecting facilities supplying to the Indian market, we will have to shut almost all of those. We are not the US, the infrastructure and resources available there are much different from those in our country. Our priority is to make medicines available and affordable to all." He also went on to say, "We don't recognize and are not bound by what the US is doing and is inspecting...the FDA may regulate its country, but it can't regulate India on how India has to behave or how to deliver."

Things may be even worse in China. Only 78 inspections were carried out there last year. An effort to increase the number of inspectors on the ground in China has been blocked by Chinese authorities. Even though the FDA has new staffers ready to start inspections, visas for these people have been denied. There is also a problem with surprise inspections, which are not feasible in China. If manufacturers have to be informed in advance that FDA inspectors will be coming, the value of the inspections is questionable.

That is why we are so excited about the FDA's new Office of Pharmaceutical Quality and the new testing program. Initially, about a dozen academic centers, including Duke University, University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University and Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, will be involved in generic drug testing. These institutions will be examining the very medications that visitors to this website have been complaining about, including ADHD drugs, anti-seizure medicines, heart drugs, immunosuppressants and antidepressants.

If independent generic drug quality assessments are carried out by academic researchers, it will go a long way towards improving the current honor system that the FDA has relied upon for decades. Once generic manufacturers realize that their products will actually be tested they may clean up their act. Ultimately, this new program could go a long way toward reestablishing trust in generic medications.

To see why we are in desperate need of a verification system, here are some reports from visitors to this website.

"I am a recently retired family doctor of 35 years. This problem goes back at least 20 years. It was and still is most noticeable in psychiatric drugs which I used a lot in my clinic.

"Patients often found that when the pharmacy would change generic manufacturers they would lose control and as soon as they went back to the original drug maker they felt better within days. One person was on buproprion (Wellbutrin) and 3 different generics didn't work and within 3 days she could tell a MAJOR improvement back on the brand.

"In the last few years prices of very inexpensive generics that have been available for many years have suddenly gone up 3-10 times the previous price, often over a few months. Many prices are only slightly less than the brand name." Dr. E.W.L.

"I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and had taken Zoloft for 5 years with excellent symptom relief. Within a week of switching to the generic sertraline, my symptoms returned full force.

"At first I had no idea what was happening, but then I started thinking that maybe it was the switch to the generic. I returned to brand name Zoloft and my symptoms stopped within a few days.

"My insurance company refused to pay for the brand name Zoloft even after my doctor told them it was medically necessary. I tried the generic several more times with the same results each time.

"I now must pay over $200 a month for my brand name Zoloft because insurance won't cover it. If I want a normal life, I have no choice." C.K.

"I was using Cardizem HCI 300mg. The prescription for name brand is no longer paid for. After trying a generic from a major discount store, it failed to control blood pressure, and I ended up in the hospital with A-fib.

"After checking around I found the generic version was in fact made in India. I did research and found a generic called Cartia XT by Watson produced in California; it actually works better than Cardizem. Do you homework when looking for generics." R.J.W.

"Several years ago my husband was prescribed Norvasc for slightly elevated systolic blood pressure. The pharmacy filled the prescription with a generic form (amlodipine). Nothing happened. It did not work.

"One month later I had the doctor send a new prescription calling for the original Norvasc. It works. It is quite expensive, though." P.L.S.

"I have used brand name Valium for decades on an as needed basis. No problems.

"Last year I was sent a generic and decided to try it. Within 20 minutes a friend looked at me over the card table and asked if I was all right. I felt totally out of it and could hardly focus. I have destroyed the bottle, and don't know the manufacturer.

"6 or 8 years ago I was on Toprol XL for A-fib. I could use 25mg, which I did once or twice every 2 weeks, and that seemed to work fine. But when I was sent the generic metoprolol for Toprol XL I went into A-fib 7 or 8 times in a 2 week period. That was the end of that!" S.D.

"My Wellbutrin XL 300mg was changed to bupropion and within 3 months my family was concerned. I was showing traits of when I first broke down. I called my doctor, went in, took the bottle with me. She cancelled that immediately and put me back on Wellbutrin and told me to always make sure every doctor put "DAW" (dispense as written) on further prescriptions.

"Within a few weeks I was doing fine. Since then I question every generic as there is not enough info as to where it is made, what country made it, what was in it, etc. Why should we depend on foreign countries to take care of our basic medical needs when they are not as developed as this country is. That is turning our lives over to questionable facilities." Carol

"I have tried to go generic for Keppra (levetiracetam), an epilepsy drug. I have been on Keppra without a problem for eight years . But I am jobless and Keppra costs thousands a year. To save money I have tried two generics. Neither works. Both cause itching, burning, and lethargy." L.C.

"My daughter started having grand mal seizures at 10 years old in her sleep. Despite many tests, they could never find the cause of her condition. At first she was only having a few seizures in her sleep lasting between 20-60 seconds. When she was around 13 the seizures were happening more frequently, about once a month instead of a few times a year.

"At this time I decided to put her on meds. They started her on Keppra 500 mg twice a day. No seizures for 25 mos., not one. We thought we were in the clear. Then the generic came out and the insurance company will only pay for the generic because of course it all comes down to money.

"The pharmacy informed me there is no difference between the generic and the brand and just switched her without even notifying or asking the doctor. Since then she has been having relapse seizures. Every month the pills are different shapes, sizes, and colors. My neurologist informed me there are 28 different companies that manufacture this drug and none of them can be 100% identical. The doctor is very adamant about the generics being responsible and he is outraged by this. He has many patients experiencing the exact same thing with the generic form of Keppra.

"He wrote a letter to my insurance company demanding she be on the brand. I don't know how they approve drugs that don't work with something like this.

"I have switched my daughter back to the brand and I am paying for it. I will never put her back on the generic." E.P.


Share your own experience with generic medications below. Let us know what you think about the FDA's new generic testing program. We will let the FDA know what you think of their new program.


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It's ABOUT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have always found it hard to understand why the US government (and insurance companies) have sought to prohibit US residents from buying prescription drugs (generic or brand name) from Canada. Many of the larger Canadian mail-order pharmacies sell drugs manufactured in the US or Canada, which would enable us to avoid the quality problems endemic to Chinese and Indian companies.

I guess it's yet another case of "follow the money." If US companies can make a killing buying poor-quality drugs at bargain-basement prices and selling them to us at a huge price markup, what's the incentive to look too closely at quality? The FDA's latest moves are encouraging, but the statement by the Indian drug regulator says it all.

If they are unwilling to meet the standards of their US consumers, they should not be allowed access to the US market at all. The FDA doesn't have the resources to inspect every Indian and Chinese plant, so the US should move our business to producers who ARE willing to meet the standards, and the Commerce Department can focus on preventing US companies from price-gouging.

I sincerely hope they'll check Prozac. The generic is definitely not the same as the name brand. Once in a while I have to go on it. Never more than 3-4 months and then I'm fine for a year or so.

Last year, I took the generic for a year and finally just quit as it was not helping and I was gaining weight and had no energy. Both of which is different on the brand name. Synthroid is another one that doesn't work for me in the generic form.

And the insurance companies aren't paying for name brands since they have been assured the generic is equal. Prozac is over $200 a month without insurance.

Praise the Lord!

Joe and Terry,
Are you able to publish all the current U.S. manufacturers of generic drugs and at least the primary drugs they make? Perhaps the public can request of their pharmacy that the generic they're taking come from a U.S. manufacturer.

Or perhaps list the web site or email address of the U.S. manufacturers who make generics? Then I and others can research what they produce.

P.S: I have just been prescribed Prilosec. The drug store gave me generic pills. As I have no experience with the brand name, how am I to know how effective the generic will be? My doctor requests I report "how I'm doing" in two weeks. No problem if it's noticeably better. However, if I'm not, he may change milligrams, go to a new med, when in fact I have a false negative response to the generic.

I think the old saying is "better late than never" but it is very distressing that such vital oversight is just now being implemented.

I have had 2 different medications switched back from generic to brand name because they simply did not work the same as the brand name. Naturally, my insurance company desperately wants me on the generic and has placed my medications on their least desirable tier thus forcing me to pick up most of the substantial cost.

What I found most interesting was when I reported to my cardiologist that the generics in question did not seem to work satisfactorily, he was not surprised. It seems he was very aware of quality control issues and didn't hesitate to prescribe the brand names.

Over a year ago, I went off Cymbalta due to my depression not being helped by the drug. Years and years before, I had been on Wellbutrin and it had seemed to help for awhile. So my primary care doctor out me on the generic of Wellbutrin. I immediately started going downhill rapidly.

After discontinuing the generic, I was tried on a variety of different drugs. I finally had ECT and they put me on 3 antidepressants (2 of which are generic). I have gained over 40 pounds and although I am feeling like I am getting back to normal, it has been a 16-month trial of error for the most part.

Making a generic for Wellbutrin was the worst possible thing that could have ever happened, in my opinion. Throughout the years, I have been prescribed generics many times and have not been pleased with the less-than-great results. Far too long in coming (the testing of generic drugs), but as they say, "Better late than never."

Let us all keep our fingers crossed that insurance companies will pay for brand name drugs until all the testing that should be done HAS been done.

How do you find out what country makes your prescription drugs, specifically Diovan and Livalo?

With all furor about generic drugs, I am left with a few questions. Will the FDA have the staff and resources to do thief testing and monitoring? Are the folks who have grave concerns about the generic drug issue willing to pay more TAXES to pay for more Regulation enforcement and will they tell their representatives support legislation to tax and support the FDA. In this testing and enforcement.

It is interesting to note congress has passed laws that basically forbids the FDA monitoring vitamins and nutritionals.

Apparently the public is not aware that most of the vitamins are of forign origin.

Does it suprise anyone that China will not let the inspectors in? What does that tell us? Do most of the problems with generic meds come from the meds made in China and India?

Also why are they raising the prices on all our medications? My thyroid medication went from $10 for 3 months to $25 for 3 months. They took some of the Tylenol out of the vicodin.. now it is a new formula and they have doubled the price. This needs to be looked into. It would be worth it to pay the price if the drugs are made IN THE US.

Is there now or have there been problems with the generic versions of Synthroid? If so, please publish the manufacturer/s. Thanks!

There are generic drug manufacturers in NJ, CA, NM that I am aware of. I refuse to buy any drugs made in third world countries. If everyone did the same, pharmaceutical companies would be forced to open plants in the US and employ Americans. Money speaks louder than words.

THANK YOU GRAEDONS!!!! for your persistence in following up this issue. YOU are the reason this has happened.

Thank God for the People's Pharmacy. Keep up the good work. It would be nice to know who makes generic drugs in the US.
How can we find that out?

I too was switched to generic Travatan-Z eye drops the week it came out as generic. (from India). My glaucoma was not controlled and it also burned so went back to Brand and am doing better.

It is high time that all medications are produced in the U.S. under strict quality controls. And, there should be government control over the supply of IV fluids, basic medications, vaccines and hospital supplies. In the last 5 years or so, there are more and more examples all across the country of shortages for basic meds such as potassium, epinephrine, nitroglycerin, Lasix, and the list goes on and on.

This is completely unacceptable and constitutes a public health crisis. Lives are being put at risk and one day it may be my life, your life or the lives of those we love at stake. Contact your senators and representatives to complain and demand that something constructive be done.

My insurance company just switched Cymbalta for a generic, Duloxetine Hcl. I have only used the generic for a short time but am not getting the help I got with the real thing.

Everyone should write the FDA and drug companies and tell them that we do not want any drugs coming from overseas operations. There are just too many problems with everything coming from foreign plants and beside bring the work to this country. What they are doing is un-American.

I'm a pilot. Periodically, I must prove that I'm a safe pilot by taking an FAA flight test. Guess who pays for the test? Me.

Has it occurred to the geniuses at the FDA to require drug manufactures to pay for their own tests?
OOPS ! I used "genius" and "FDA" in the same sentence. Apologies to all tax payers.

I took Trusopt eye drops for years with success. My doctor switched me to the generic. I had very unpleasant side effects, also the pressure in my eyes went up. I asked him to switch me back to Trusopt, in spite of the $100 price tab. He was very surprised to find that the pressure in my eyes went back down.

Is this FDA testing program permanent or will it be just Temporary?

How do you find out where your drugs are made?

Good news, for sure. But if your private insurance company is not going to pay for the name brand, what choice does one have, other than paying $400 or more per month (that was what was quoted for my name brand med)?

I just checked my generic glacoma eye drops and they are made in Ireland. Is that a problem?

Many items at the supermarket are labeled: "Made In ...", yet the FDA doesn't require this on drug labels. Who is the FDA protecting, consumers or Big Pharma? And what about Obama's promise of transparency in government? The reason I voted for him.

The FDA waits until the tainted and shoddy generic drugs problem attracts enough attention that people become alarmed, before they 'look into' the situation. By then, so many people have been needlessly harmed. The funeral industry benefits, though.

try web md or mayo also ask the pharmacy to give you the package insert from the drug bottle (not the info that comes out of the computer) there is usually manufacturing info on the package insert that comes from the manufacturer.

I am interested in generic thyroid medication. I feel I get inconsistent results from the one I take. Have there been any reports about this?

Splendid work People's Pharmacy! you do wonderful work.

Very happy some action is being taken as I, see it the manufactures of the brand name drugs did their homework and made drugs that actually work,so whats the point of the generics they aren't much cheaper and why should we be supporting these companies in foreign countries, where we know there are no standards for quality and cleanliness. Enough is enough, I believe all generics should be taken off the market, no wonder people don't understand why they feel ill and not up to par.

I wonder how the politicians would like to go through what we the little no so wealthy people have to go through when we get our perscriptions, we need to be more concerned about our USA. Thank you, hope to hear more on this study soon.

The manufacturer's name should be on the prescription bottle somewhere.

If we would NOT depend on other countries for our basic necessities, and meds are certainly one, we wouldn't be spending 20 million to find out what the problem is. Go back to making it here in this country. Enough said.

would like to see comments on this. Thanks.

It's about time that generic drugs are thought about as causing all sorts of problems in people, drug reactions, inter-reactions, etc. The FDA is giving us new drugs too fast for them to test them thoroughly as they should: RESULT? people get cancer, die etc. etc. etc. Time for FDA to not be in apparent control of drug cos. and do what's right for people. Ever heard of "First, do not harm." FDA should have to try to live up to that as drs. do.

Please continue reporting on generics & the country manufacturing them. It does make a huge difference.

Artificial thyroid have never been very good for me. I use ARMOUR thyroid - it's the real stuff not artificial or generic and you'll notice a difference not long after begin taking it. Urge your Dr. to let you use Armour Thyroid. My sister and I both take Armour Thyroid. My problem seems to be with the generic brand of Prozac I'm taking. I've taken for 12 or more years and think my body's no longer able to use it very well. Any thoughts on prozac?

Armour thyroid is no longer the same as years ago. The FDA made them change something in it and it no longer worked the same for me. I had been taking that for many years and never had a problem until they changed it. I did a lot of research and found NP Thyroid, Westhroid, Nature-throid, these are all natural.

I now take NP thyroid, but it takes a lot of calls to find a pharmacy that carries any one of these. If you can find a generic that helps you, that is good, but generic thyroid meds do not work for me.

I think we have all been forced to generics and certainly know what works, what the side effects are etc etc. Maybe the FDA should just ask us. Medicare D got worse this year also. My premium increased 75% per month and they moved some generics from Tier 1 to Tier 2 and force me to go to a particular chain pharmacy that constantly changes what they buy.

You never know what you are going to get from one month to the next. I go to my small neighborhood pharmacy and pay the extra in order to tolerate what I have to take. Moving generic drugs up to higher tiers is a real money maker for them. You can no longer afford to take your doctor's advice, it's the drug industry trying to manage your health for you. has a pill identifier. You can enter the code letters and or numbers, shape and color to find the manufacturer tho it may not do any good since you don't know what facility they are really making the drugs in. Prescription drugs are a real racket.

Since I went on a generic Coumadin [anticoagulant] my I.N.R.'s would vary wildly. I now insist upon name brand Coumadin B.M.S. [Bristol-Myers Squibb]. I.N.R. reading still changes, but, slowly over weeks.

That's sometimes true but in a lot of cases the pills are put in a plastic pharmacy bottle so there is no manufacturer listed. When I can see that it's in a manufacturers package I have peeled off the prescription label and can then see what country it was manufactured in, then sent to a company in the United States for packaging, and then sent to the pharmacy.

I wonder how old, and what weather conditions the pills have gone through. I'm not trusting much of what our government says or how they follow through with their promises.

I use 290 1 gram Naturethroid every three months. Manufactured by Western and I get them from Walgreens. Not covered by insurance, crazy, and the cost is usually between $41 and 43. Tho I am usually broke this is 13 to 14 a month, doable. If I had a co-pay it would be $30, if considered a favored generic.

I usually break into the donut hole in the summer, thankfully generics are still covered. As I rely on almost all generic, except for lyrica and insulin, I need to know they are reliable.

Usually Watson and Teva are good; I was surprised to read, above, that there was a problem with a drug from Teva. Personally, we should do as Canada seems to do: make our own generics. And our own supplements. More than 30 years ago, I worked on a computer for Hudson Vitamins, entering orders, plus taking them from salesmen over the phone. At night. The office was huge as was the plant contained in the same building. When you walked in, you could smell the vitamins, all manufactured by Hudson in that plant. Lots of employment. Employees could get some supplements free or low cost and that is when I began taking vitamins.

While prescriptions are not taxed, I would be willing to pay a special generic tax of 2% to 3%, going towards creating new jobs here to make generics. Once that need was done, the tax could continue to support good FDA oversight.

I have read more than once that although some pharmaceuticals may still be made in the US, Canada and Europe, almost all the raw material ingredients in our drugs come from India and China.

Tried to post yesterday: The Graedons are HEROES for persisting on this issue. I am so grateful to them for bringing us The People's Pharmacy, and hope they are training protégés so that The People's Pharmacy will be available to future generations.

Joe and Terry: I'd like to add my thanks. This development is due largely, and probably solely, to you!

I notice changes everytime my pharmacy changes manufactures, but for most of us we are screwed. Because insurance won't pay for name brand, so they just foster poor generics, don't like what they buy tough, can't pay for name brand too bad. Drug companies are just after biggest profit, so what if a few people die, they were sick to begin with or they wouldn't need meds.

Finally!!! Someone is thinking about the consumer!

Let's carefully reconsider ALL pharmaceuticals (also most tests and procedures). We need to take responsibility, stop blindly worshiping MDs and try to find a better way to health than being constantly drugged. All modern pharmaceuticals are very problematic, not just the poor quality generics. As a 35 year RN I now believe "Quality drugs" is an oxymoron.

I had been taking generic nortriptyline for years, same brand, works great. Then pharmacy changed brands and I had a dangerous allergic reaction because of fillers.

Son was given generic Concerta last month (real generic, not brand generic that has been out for several years). Generic Concerta is NOT Concerta at all, it's generic ritalin in a pill form that even looks cheap.

Thank goodness we have the ability to pay for brand, otherwise my son would be miserable.

I have been on several drugs for clinical depression. Seems like we've tried them all. For the past few years my Therapist has had me on several drugs, trying to find one that will work for me. They are not relieving me of this severe depression. Clinical depression has been a problem for me since childhood. These drugs, now Genetic, are not working.........I wonder..........

A physician friend of mine commented that it would be very important if the pharmaceutical companies were to be mandated to release ALL the info in the compounding of the meds.

I never trusted the generic drugs! My Dr. said that they were good. He has to say that, because he really has no choice. He wants me on some meds and knows the ins. co. will not approve the name brand. Has anyone wondered what kind of meds the big wigs and their family's are taking? No generics for them! We pay the ins. co's so that the big wigs can afford the good meds. This has been a problem for a long time. It just amazes me that it took so long for this to come out. Cheaper is not always {just as good}.

These are great news. The surprise is that the testing was not routinely done. We have been trusting the FDA to protect us and they were not. Thanks to people like you we are better today than yesterday. We, the consumers, must report to the FDA every incident when drugs do not perform as expected.

I have Neuropathy and was on Vicodin for pain. Then the insurance switched me hydrocodone. I found I had to take two of the hydrocodone to get some relief yet it never did reduce the pain like Vicodin. The Physician wrote to the insurance Co. telling them I must have Vicodin which they allowed and the pain level decreased significantly - and I only had to take 1 Vicodin rather than two of the generic.

I can only tell you that many years ago I was told by Medco, which administered my employer's drug plan, that they didn't even stock the generic because there had been so many problems with it. They carried only the brand name, but if you're doctor wrote the Rx for the brand, they charged you for the brand; if your doctor wrote the Rx for the generic, they gave you the brand but only charged the price for the generic. Go figure!

I went on a generic for Synthroid (Levothyroxine) and my hair started to fall out, nails started to get weak -breaking off. Then I started to get awful chills all the time. Weight control is also a problem.
I am getting back on Synthroid ASAP.

I know this is off topic for today's information but I have just returned from the hospital for heart issuses. While there I was brought the meds that I told them that I took at home. They did not have all of them "in house". I asked them about each one as well as the injections I received. One of the pills offered was Prilosec. I reported that I was not taking that and who ordered it. I was told by an indignant nurse that it was prescribed for all the patients in the hospital to help with symptoms that the "in patients" suffered. Of course I refused as I do not suffer from "GERD". When on earth was this kind of treatment begun. Had I not known enough to ask about the pills I was told to take I certainly would not have known that I was taking Prilosec. And yes, thay did not have all of the meds I take and so offered some "as good as"or "the same as" what I had been taking at home. Thank you for your voice.

I worked for an international pharmaceutical company. I know the precision needed to deliver the drug to the body properly.
The purity and compounding are critical.
We had manufacturing facilities outside the U.S, including India. I can tell you their ingredients are different. It is my understanding that government regulations require that if an ingredient is native to India, it must be used. They are not allowed to import similar ingredients. Big Problem! The products they made were for their own consumption.

I refuse to take generic drugs and pay dearly for the brand name, but my drug premiums have not been lowered. I wonder sometimes tho', how we know the drug has done what was intended. Sometimes we get better in spite of the chemical interference!
Please continue pressing for this action to happen. We need people of your stature to speak for us.
Our sincere thanks,

Several generic drugs I have taken over the past few years for cost purpose (after initially taking Brand) have not worked. They don't taste the same because I usually use liquid product due to need for that. Maybe I am one in a few that can tell the difference that way, so that tells me there IS a difference.

I have no trust in the FDA whatsoever. None. Zip.

I am so thankful to God for not having to use any kind of prescription medication as an older person. But my heart goes out to those that need this medication prescribed to function near normal. I do hope and pray that something can be done that will be able to help all these people who suffer simply because of the profit-driven pharmaceutical drug manufacturers' greed.

Some of these large manufacturers don't seem to care if their generic medications are effective in relieving health issues. The pharmaceutical manufacturers claim to make comparable medications to brand names which are suppose to work just as well but are sold at extremely low prices. However, after reading this site, I am not surprised. I am not surprised because when my husband was living, his medications for congestive heart failure were changed a number of times -- most generic for brand medications.

All of these medication changes probably didn't help. But, I'll have to say that the way he ate did not help his condition. I tried to prepare healthy meals, but he had his favorite no-nutrition foods he loved. And so, I still believe that all prescription medications should go through some kind of quality control for the sake of the individuals consuming them. For generic medications to be of any value at all, they must work just as well as brand-name medications!

While this is about medication for my cat, it shows what's going on with medications in the U.S. My cat was put on prednisolone, a form of prednisone that is better for cats. I got it from the vet for $25 for a month's supply. After a few months my vet said that they couldn't get it anymore but I could get it from the pharmacy. He wrote the script and I took it to a well known pharmacy. They have a prescription program that you can sign up for to get meds for a lower price. You can sign up your pets, too, so I signed up my cat. Got the meds for around $19/month.

Everything was fine for a while. Then I picked up a new supply and the tech said the price was $253! My jaw dropped! I asked what's going on, that I only paid $19 the last time. They looked it up and said I was right. They didn't know why the price went up so high. They checked another manufacturer and the price was $274! I didn't take the meds and went to my vet who put the cat on predisone. What is going on? These meds have been around for years. Out of curiosity I checked with pharmacy later on prednisolone and it wasn't even available. Check back again and it was available in liquid and capsule, but not pill form. But price was still high, around $100.

So glad to see this information on the FDA testing the generics. I, too, had problems with the generic Wellbutrin 300XL that had worked so well. We changed insurance last month because of Obamacare, and now BCBS won't cover the brand name anymore. Surprise! My prescription would be $430. I didn't want to go back on the generic, since I'd tried it three times before.

On Wellbutrin's website, I found a program that lets me get BRAND NAME Wellbutrin for $50 a month. This applies to everyone, insurance or no insurance. Another problem- I've been taking Adderall XR generic for a couple of months with no problem. For the last two nights I have had difficulty sleeping (up past 2 a.m.!) I noticed today around 5 that I felt jittery.

Tonight I am still jittery and can feel my heartbeat like when I had Graves' disease. I took the generic amphetamine salts, 30 mg at 7:30 this morning. No way they should still be active, but I can feel the effects. I am going to check to see if the manufacturer changed.

I switched from Vyvanse to save money using a generic. At least I've figured out why I can't get to sleep. I'll skip the med tomorrow for sure. It's great the med is lasting longer and keeping my appetite down all day, but I have to sleep- I'm getting cranky.

In the past month I was put on the generic drug Mirtazapine (30Mg.) for Remeron to control my clinical depression; why the drug I had been taking stopped working I don't know; altho that was a generic substitution as well. I have almost felt as if I have gone "crazy" since taking Mirtazapine. I just can't tell you how I have reacted to this drug!! I just want to be by myself as I am awful to my friends, if I can any longer call them "friends". My behavior has been bizarre.

Today, I finally called my therapist to tell her I no longer wanted to take any drugs, I just wanted to "check out". This evening I stopped taking the drug and just hope my behavior will revert back to normal. If not, I don't know what is next for me. After reading several articles about various Pharmaceuticals in India, I wonder if my behavior as well as my depression has anything to do with these generics?

I KNEW IT!!! like so many others I had to suffer through what I knew was happening to me when FORCED to switch to generic Welbutrin but insurance companies, one physician and pharmacists would tell me otherwise.

I am STILL struggling and United HealthCare is STILL refusing to pay for brand Welbutrin while also trying to take brand name asthma medication (XOpenex anyone?) as well as brand name migraine medicine (if you ever had to go through the trial and error of find one that will finally work). The fight over this issue is exhausting.

I have been a pharmacy tech for over 20 years and have seen many drugs come and go off the market. I have heard numerous complaints from our customers about this issue and a lack of credibility for their concerns from the pharmacists. I believe because the statement from the FDA is shoved down their throats as an absolute. It is both validating and frustrating to hear this NOW. How could we as Americans EVER allow this!!!!!!

Really.... send something as critical and life changing and the ability to do whatever to the drugs we must take to treat our health needs, and not allow inspections or inspectors to get Visas, really? How big of a RED FLAG do you need FDA!!!! China, as we all know was putting lead in exports, like children's toys and you let these people make our drugs?????
This is so beyond comprehension that this was EVER allowed under these circumstances. WOW. This is HUGE.

Last week my doctor ordered benazepril from Prime Pharmaceuticals, which is owned by 14 BCBS orgs. They filled it with product from Ranbaxy.

I talked with a pharmacist there yesterday. She told me Ranbaxy is now outsourcing to US sources, mentioning one in North Brunswick, NJ, but I asked her to confirm the source of what they'd sent me. They called back today to assure me that all is well because it came not from India but from a Ranbaxy factory in China!

I said that if I were a pharmacist, I wouldn't want to give anyone anything from Ranbaxy and maybe not China and asked for another source. Today's pharmacist gave me 3-4 names, one of which was Teva. I know I've taken Teva's products (and probably others on her list), so they sent a fax to my doctor for a new Rx to special order Teva. Fortunately, as a generic, it won't cost me extra.

For further information, just google "ranbaxy fda".

What are consumers supposed to do about the large chains now solely getting their generics from India. Given the recent FDA actions against several Indian countries, if a consumer is forced by insurance to accept a generic, shouldn't they at least have a choice to get it from a US company who, due to proximity might be more easily monitored? These chains are getting the cheapest generics they can find and no one will be able to measure the harm done to the most vulnerable taking them. To the big chain that will stop selling tobacco products, please look into your policies on what you offer the helpless consumer in the way of generic drugs.

Update to my March 6 comment when I first called local store of big chain that will stop selling tobacco products asking for USA source of generic drug instead of India, China, etc was told not available. Then I called big chain customer service and registered complaint about their lack of options other than cheapest generics from India given recent FDA actions against these companies. Didn't receive any call back from higher up the chain but called local store two days later and suddenly pharmacy found generic version from Mylan.

Doesn't solve issue of ineffective generic drugs but at least better than being forced to accept drugs from countries to far away to be effectively monitored.

So as consumers, it might help to be vocal about our concerns about generic drugs and suppliers.

As odd as it sounds, I think a little more capitalism needs to be injected into the pharmaceutical market. The consumers are too far removed from the transactions. For example, I take drugs for ADHD, and I can tell the effects of various generics are quite different. Since my insurance company pays for my meds, and my insurance company considers them equivalent, my pharmacy stocks only the cheapest (ie worst) generic brand. I have to find small, independent pharmacies to request a specific manufacturer.

The chains tell me a "distributor" determines which generics they can stock, and they can't even order another brand. I keep thinking- if the consumers had a little more choice in this, regulation would be a bit easier. If we as consumers had some choice amongst generics, we'd stop buying the ones that don't work, and the market would force better quality control. I am not suggesting this as a replacement for what the FDA is doing, but as a supplement. I find it so odd that in our capitalist economy, that this industry is exempt from consumer-driven demand. Forcing patients to purchase shoddy medications just reinforces poor quality control standards.

It is more than about time! A decade or more ago, there was an investigative report in the paper (remember those) where the reporter went to various pharmacies throughout the US to get a generic version of a drug, and had them analyzed at an independent lab. What was found was that the actual active ingredient varied widely from not only different manufacturers, but from region to region. This was of course way before medicare part D, but seems like nothing has changed.

I too have noticed differences in generic vs brand drugs. There are some generics that work better than others, but if I were a heart patient, I would not mess around with generics, and I know cardiologists who only will dispense brand name, because they don't trust generics either, which of course is a problem because these stupid insurance plans do not like to pay for brand if they can get away with it, and they will! They don't care if the doctor says the patient must have brand name! As usual, it's all about the bottom line for them, screw the patient, get the money! I really do wish I lived in Canada, because this sort of thing just doesn't happen there, from what I can gather.

In my own case, I have to be on a few drugs for various problems, and the only drug I have to insist for brand name is percocet (a couple of my other drugs are compounded, and those I have to pay for, and that's expensive). When the insurance company switched me to generic, it just doesn't work like brand name; it takes two of the generic to even start to get an effect, while only one of the brand name took care of everything!

The doctor (who is certified as a doctor who just treats pain patients) insisted I get the brand name, but the insurance company refused, so I'm stuck with generic. I cannot afford to pay for brand name, and I don't know what to do exactly, and recently, the pharmacy switched the generic, and this generic really does not work well at all, worse than the other one!

This pharmacy I found had the best generic percocet, and I traveled one hour one way to get it, and now they switched it. I have to find out why, I really like this pharmacy, they will give me the details, and then I have to find out the manufacturer of the previous generic. People who are sick should not have to work so hard at getting decent medications!

I am a geriatric woman who has been taking the brand-name drug Klonopin for 28 years, since I contracted motor and sensory Peripheral Neuropathy in 1986. I take 3/4 mg. to 1 mg. daily, (0.5 mg. tablets which I cut in half), to stop body spasm, calf and foot spasm, esophageal spasms and nerve pain in all those areas.

Recently, Roche-Genentech has stopped making brand-name Klonopin due, I am told, to the number of generic Clonzepam products on the market, which makes it not cost effective for them to keep producing the brand-name Klonopin, which sells for close to $260.00 per hundred, while the generic versions are much cheaper. I have called Roche-Genentech and their reps state that Klonopin may go back into production by October 2014, but they completely stopped production of their brand-name Valium last year too, so it seems unlikely.

The problem if they stop making it, is that this drug is a habit forming, addictive drug, which has a very difficult, uncomfortable and long, drawn-out withdrawal period. I was told this when I first started taking Klonopin, but my Neurologist stated I'd have to be on the drug for the rest of my life, due to my neurological illness, and there was no generic version of course, at that time.

I've tried many of the "generic" Clonzepam products and none of them work as effectively as the brand-name Klonopin, i.e., I go into severe withdrawal. I've searched the internet and find sites where many other brand-name Klonopin users are experiencing the same problem in attempting to switch over to a generic version of Clonazepam, i.e., horrendous, slow, withdrawal.

One would think companies like Roche-Genentech would show some compassion for users of their brand-name drug, because of the terrible withdrawal symptoms they will almost certainly experience when switching to the generic equivalents, which many who have tried them state don't work as well. As always, it's only the bottom line in dollars these large companies seem to care about, and screw the patient!

Frankly, I don't know what I'm to do if this drug is withdrawn from the market?! Guess I'll have to do myself in, as I don't wish to live in a perpetual state of withdrawal...Sad state of affairs, and I know I'm not the only one...

I would suggest stocking up on all the brand name you can find; that will give you time to try a generic here and there, just purchasing a few pills out of pocket. You will be able to question the pharmacist/s as to who makes the generic and where it comes from. A small pharmacy might be better for this than a chain pharmacy. It might be possible to find a well made generic by an American company.

My husband uses fentanyl patches and insists on the Teva made ones, for various reasons. Teva is an Israeli company, and I would place far more trust in them than in an Indian or Chinese company. I remember when packages of medications bought over the net could be seized by customs and destroyed because we were told we could not trust any medication that did not originate in this country. Unfortunately it is all about greed and corruption reaching high into the FDA and the chain drugstores.

Generic drugs that are not effective and/or cause unwanted side effects are a punishment for anyone who is ill. We can usually tell the difference when we don't know we've been switched to a generic.

Twice now within the space of a few months those who cannot afford the brand name anti-depressants Wellbutrin and Cymbalta (the latter also used for anxiety, as well as pain relief from fibromyalgia) have been compelled to experience a return of symptoms and intolerable side effects as the generics fail to deliver. The downward spiral is heartbreaking.

In February the patent for Cymbalta ran out. The generic substitute Duloxetine looks exactly like the brand capsules; same colors, same size. Only the writing on them is different. Symptoms while taking the generic were a fuzzy feeling in the head, insomnia for periods lasting more than 48 hours, pain, feeling flat and remote as positive emotions disappeared, and the resurgence of purely depressing and anxiety provoking thoughts. Theorizing that a different delivery system might require a change in time of administration, experiments ensued. But the drug simply didn't work and the Brand had to be purchased to feel normal again. This is not acceptable. What to do with 168 useless, though not inexpensive generic capsules? Into the closet they go with all the other containers of unusable generics.

Who, specifically, is making a lot of money on products that are not what they claim to be?

The problem isn't limited to brand vs. generic.

It's generic vs. generic, too, as in the case of Bupropion 300 XL, brand name Wellbutrin. After several years of heated debate in which there were hints that the contentions of complainants might be attributable to their 'conditions', the FDA finally asked the drug companies to retest their products. It was determined that some of the generics lacked bioequivalence. Consumers, who had known immediately, were again forced to jump from one generic to the other in search of relief, just as they had in 1999 when the original patent expired.

Watson decided to pull their effective 150 XL at the same time they voluntarily pulled the 300 XL that lacked bioequivalence. Having merged with Actavis, Watson probably decided it was cost effective to continue producing the Actavis generic and cut their losses with the Watson formula.

Watson or Actavis, whatever you call yourselves now, how could you do this? The 300 XL had never been proved effective; its acceptance was based on the "proven" efficacy of the 150 XL. (What's going on with the FDA?) The Par generic that has been substituted for the Watson 150 XL generic isn't working. In warehouses somewhere thousands of effective bupropion 150 XL tablets will probably be sold off to the global market along with the 'inferior' 300 XLs.

Must they always capitalize on the misery of their customers for the sake of the bottom line? What exactly do pharmaceutical companies do to "give back" here in the United States?

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