There is no question that generic drugs can offer big savings. Sometimes it is worthwhile to see just how great the price difference might be.
Q. My sister takes brand name Ativan, as her doctor does not want her on the generic. The cost to the insurance company every three months is nearly $10,000. Her copay is $100.00.
She ran low due to a mix-up at her drugstore and had to pay for 42 pills out of her own pocket. That came to $377.00. This is outlandish!
Brand-Name vs Generic Costs:
A. Ativan is a striking example of the difference between the cost of generic and brand-name medicine. In our area, generic lorazepam runs between $10 and $12 for a month’s supply, while the brand name is around $2500.
We assume that the 42 pills your sister had to pay for was a two-week supply. Lorazepam (Ativan) is a relatively short-acting benzodiazepine that is taken two or three times a day for anxiety or anxious depression.
Why Not Take the Generic?
Some readers may be wondering why her doctor insists on brand-name medication Ativan, especially given that generic lorazepam is so inexpensive. Others may recall that we have written previously about the unreliability of certain generic medications. While we have no way of knowing whether there are problems with lorazepam, the fact that the majority of generic drugs are made abroad gives some doctors pause.
When the brand-name drug is intended to control seizures (as, for example, Lamictal or Keppra), administering a generic version that doesn’t work as well can be disastrous. Here is a previous discussion of generic drugs that may be of interest.