The People's Perspective on Medicine

What Are Authorized Generic Drugs and Are They Better?

Have you ever had problems with generic drug substitutes? If so, have you ever asked for authorized generic drugs? Learn what they are and why they might be better.

You’ve heard of generic drugs, right? They are kind of like chemical copycats of brand name medicines. There’s Prilosec, which is a brand name heartburn medicine. Then there’s the generic omeprazole. You know Viagra. Sildenafil is the generic. The trouble with generic drugs is that many of the raw ingredients are now made in China without a lot of FDA oversight. Finished pills are often manufactured in India, Thailand, Slovakia, Brazil, Mexico and goodness knows where else. We have questions about FDA monitoring. That’s why authorized generic drugs intrigue us. Sadly, many health professionals have no idea what they are. You will find the only comprehensive list of authorized generic drugs in this article. Updated: 11/29/18

Why Is It So Hard To Get Authorized Generic Drugs?

Q. I want to share my experience trying to purchase an “authorized generic” drug. Our doctor did not know what that phrase meant, nor did any of the pharmacists we talked to.

I found online the label information for the authorized generic and supplied that to CVS. CVS ordered the drug using the NDC code, but that was over a month ago and it is still not in stock.

Walgreen could not find the NDC code in their computer. In the meantime, we had to go ahead and buy the brand-name drug–over $500 for a 30-day supply. Why is this so difficult?

What Are Authorized Generic Drugs?

A. When a brand name medicine loses its patent, the original manufacturer sometimes strikes a deal with a generic drug maker. That allows the generic company to sell the exact same formulation, made from the same “recipe.” Sometimes the authorized generic is made on the same production line as the brand name drug.

As you discovered, most health professionals are unaware of this category. That may be in part because the generic drug industry, pharmacies and the FDA have promoted the idea that generic drugs in general are just as good as their brand name equivalents.

Readers Complain About Regular Generic Drugs:

Jen in Colorado has had generic drug problems:

“I used to be a staunch believer in generics, but that was before I had to take so many medications. I have rheumatoid arthritis and Addison’s disease, and I could open my own pharmacy.

“I too, have experienced severe problems and side effects with generic antidepressants, including lack of efficacy. I have actually gone without an antidepressant for years because my insurance does not want to cover brand name drugs in this class without an act of God.

“I have also run into problems switching between generic manufacturers of prednisone and hypertension medications. When will the FDA force generic manufactures to engage in some sort of trial or research that demonstrates how these drugs compare both to the original, as well as to each other?”

Susie in Indiana had problems with generic Celebrex:

“I just got the generic of Celebrex and thought it would work like the original drug that I used 4 years ago for my back and knee pain. Back then I got instant relief.

“I currently have knee pain and was prescribed the generic. It’s junk, garbage. My knee hurts so badly.

“As of today I went back on Advil, which helps a bit, but not great. I was so looking for much more relief, but the generic just doesn’t cut it. It just doesn’t touch the ache. Once I take it I don’t take anything else for fear of mixing meds. This was a complete waste of money. Hopefully the FDA will recognize it’s not working.”

Marie in Windsor Heights, Iowa also had generic Celebrex problems:

“My insurance plan requires generic substitutes. I couldn’t get the brand Celebrex regardless of my Dr. calling and filing an appeal.

“Taking the generic initially didn’t cause problems but then my mail-order drug company used another manufacturer. I have lupus. The generic celecoxib caused a flare to the point I could barely walk.

“I struggled to get the brand, and finally ordered from Canada. In the USA Celebrex was $1,300.00 for 180 tabs. Canada was $420.00 for 200 tabs. Can’t wait to feel better.”

Joey in New York found generic celecoxib unhelpful but praises authorized generic drugs.

“There is no question that regular generic Celebrex does not work as well. The Greenstone authorized generic is identical to the name brand by Pfizer.

“You can take all the other generic makers of celecoxib and put them in the trash. The real stuff is formulated in a way that delivers the therapeutic dose in the correct manner. The other versions use different ingredients and may only provide 80% of the actual drug, but it’s more the formulation than the amount of drug. That’s what Pfizer put into the R & D and the others just copied but could not make it exactly like Pfizer did.”

Learn More about Authorized Generic Drugs:

We have been surprised to learn that many pharmacists have no idea what an authorized generic is. Physicians are even less familiar with this term. There is no easy place to learn whether your generic drug is available as an authorized generic and who the manufacturer is. We have done our best to create such a list below:

Authorized Generic Drugs

The following list contains the authorized generic drug name followed by the brand name inside the parenthesis followed by the manufacturer inside brackets. With this information your pharmacist should be able to locate the precise authorized generic drug that you seek.

  • Abacavir and Lamivudine  (Epzicom) [Prasco]
  • Acitretin (Soriatane) [Prasco]
  • Adapalene and Benzoyl Peroxide Gel (Epiduo) [Prasco]
  • Adapalene Gel (Differin) [Prasco]
  • Alprazolam (Xanax) [Greenstone]
  • Amlodipine and Atorvastatin (Caduet) [Greenstone]
  • Atazanavir (Reyataz) [Greenstone]
  • Atomoxetine (Strattera) [Prasco]
  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor) [Greenstone]
  • Atovaquone and Proguanil (Malarone) [Prasco]
  • Atovaquone Suspension (Mepron) [Prasco]
  • Augmented Betamethasone Dipropionate (Diprolene) [Prasco]
  • Azithromycin Single Dose Packets (Zithromax) [Greenstone]
  • Cabergoline (Dostinex) [Greenstone]
  • Calcipotriene Cream (Dovonex) [Prasco]
  • Carbamazepine Extended-Release (Carbatrol) [Prasco]
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex) [Greenstone]
  • Clindamycin Benzoyl Peroxide Topical Gel (Duac) [Prasco]
  • Clindamycin Capsules & Gels (Cleocin) [Greenstone]
  • Clonidine Extended-Release Tablets (Kapvay) [Prasco]
  • Clotrimazole and Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream (Lotrisone) [Prasco]
  • Colchicine (Colcrys) [Prasco]
  • Colestipol Granules, Tablets (Colestid) [Greenstone]
  • Dactinomycin for Injection (Cosmegen) [Prasco]
  • Dapsone Gel (Aczone) [Greenstone]
  • Desvenlafaxine ER Tablets (Pristiq) [Greenstone]
  • Diclofenac & Misoprostol Tablets (Arthrotec) [Greenstone]
  • Diphenoxylate and Atropine (Lomotil) [Greenstone]
  • Dofetilide (Tikosyn) [Greenstone]
  • Doxazosin (Cardura) [Greenstone]
  • Doxycycline 40 mg Capsules (Oracea) [Prasco]
  • Doxycycline Hyclate Capsules (Vibramycin) [Greenstone]
  • Dutasteride and Tamsulosin (Jalyn) [Prasco]
  • Eletriptan (Relpax) [Greenstone]
  • Eplerenone (Inspra) [Greenstone]
  • Ethosuximide (Zarontin) [Greenstone]
  • Exemestane (Aromasin) [Greenstone]
  • Fluconazole for Oral Suspension (Diflucan) [Greenstone]
  • Fluconazole Tablets (Diflucan) [Greenstone]
  • Fluorometholone Ophthalmic (FML) [Greenstone]
  • Gabapentin Oral Solution (Neurontin) [Greenstone]
  • Gatifloxacin Ophthalmic Solution (Zymaxid) [Greenstone]
  • Gentamicin Ophthalmic Solution (Genoptic) [Greenstone]
  • Glipizide XL (Glucotrol XL) [Greenstone]
  • Hydrocortisone Tablets (Cortef) [Greenstone]
  • Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) [Prasco]
  • Hydroxyprogesterone Caproate Injection (Makena) [Prasco]
  • Ibuprofen Lysine Injection (NeoProfen) [Prasco]
  • Ketorolax Ophthalmic Solution (Acular LS) [Greenstone]
  • Lamivudine Tablets (HBV) (Epivir-HBV) [Prasco]
  • Lansoprazole, Amoxicillin, Clarithromycin (Prevpac) [Prasco]
  • Lanthanum Carbonate Chewable Tablets (Fosrenol) [Prasco]
  • Latanoprost Ophthalmic Solution (Xalatan) [Greenstone]
  • Levalbuterol HCl Inhalation Solution (Xopenex) [Prasco]
  • Levobunolol Ophthalmic Solution (Betagan) [Greenstone]
  • Linezolid (Zyvox) [Greenstone]
  • Medroxyprogesterone Tablets (Provera) [Greenstone]
  • Mefenamic Acid (Ponstel) [Prasco]
  • Mesalamine delayed-release tablets (Lialda) [Prasco]
  • Methylprednisolone Tablets (Medrol) [Greenstone]
  • Metronidazole Gel, 1% (Metrogel) [Prasco]
  • Metronidazole Topical Lotion (MetroLotion) [Prasco]
  • Misoprostol Tablets (Cytotec) [Greenstone]
  • Mixed Amphetamine ER & XR (Adderall ER & XR) [Prasco]
  • Montelukast Sodium Oral Granules (Singulair) [Prasco]
  • Nadolol (Corgard) [Greenstone]
  • Nifedipine (Procardia) [Greenstone]
  • Nisoldipine Extended Release  (Sular) [Prasco]
  • Nitroglycerine Sublingual Tablets (Nitrostat) [Greenstone]
  • Omega-3-acid ethyl esters Capsules (Lovaza) [Prasco]
  • Oxaprozin (Daypro) [Greenstone]
  • Phenelzine (Nardil) [Greenstone]
  • Phenoxybenzamine Capsules (Dibenzyline) [Prasco]
  • Phenytoin Infatabs (Infatabs) [Greenstone]
  • Phenytoin Oral Suspension & Tablets (Dilantin) [Greenstone]
  • Pioglitazone and Glimepiride (Duetact) [Prasco]
  • Piroxicam (Feldene) [Greenstone]
  • Polymyxin and Trimethoprim Ophthalmic (Polytrim) [Greenstone]
  • Prasugrel Tablets (Effient) [Prasco]
  • Prazosin (Minipress) [Greenstone]
  • Prednisolone Ophthalmic (Pred Forte) [Greenstone]
  • Prednisolone Sodium Phosphate Disintegrating Tablets (Orapred) [Prasco]
  • Propafenone HCl ER (Rythmol SR) [Prasco]
  • Quinapril & Hydrochlorothiazide (Accuretic) [Greenstone]
  • Rifabutin (Mycobutin) [Greenstone]
  • Risedronate Delayed-Release (Atelvia) [Greenstone]
  • Risedronate Tablets (Actonel) [Greenstone]
  • Sertraline Oral Solution (Zoloft) [Greenstone]
  • Sildenafil (Viagra) [Greenstone]
  • Silver Sulfadiazine Cream (Silvadine) [Greenstone]
  • Sirolimus (Rapamune) [Greenstone]
  • Spironolactone & Hydrochlorothiazide (Aldactazide) [Greenstone]
  • Sucralfate (Carafate) [Greenstone]
  • Sulfacetamide Ophthalmic (Bleph-10) [Greenstone]
  • Sulfasalazine Delayed-Release (Azulfidine EN-Tabs) [Greenstone]
  • Sulfasalazine Tablets (Azulfidine) [Greenstone]
  • Tadalafil Tablets (Cialis) [Prasco]
  • Tazarotene Cream (Tazorac) [Greenstone]
  • Testosterone Gel (Testim) [Prasco]
  • Tolterodine ER Capsules (Detrol LA) [Greenstone]
  • Tolterodine Tablets (Detrol) [Greenstone]
  • Trandolapril Verapamil (Tarka) [Greenstone]
  • Triazolam (Halcion) [Greenstone]
  • Voriconazole (Vfend) [Greenstone]
  • Zileuton ER Tablets (Zyflo CR) [Prasco]
  • Ziprasidone (Geodon) [Greenstone]

More About Authorized Generics and Online Canadian Pharmacies:

You can learn about problems that have occurred with generic drugs and more details on authorized generics in our Guide to Saving Money on Medicines. You cannot trust all advertised Canadian online pharmacies. There are mail-order pharmacies that may be located half way around the world that pretend to be located in Canada. We have done our best to vet some of the more reliable Canadian online pharmacies. This online resource is available at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.

What’s an NDC Anyway?

The NDC (National Drug Code) is a unique number to identify every drug sold in the U.S. The FDA maintains an online directory of all NDC identifiers.

Share your own experience with generic drugs. Have you ever purchased authorized generic drugs? How did they work? We’d love to hear your story below in the comment section.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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I get a lot of my meds from Mexico. You address issues in Canada, but nothing about meds from Mexico. How do they compare?

It can be more difficult to determine if the med you get from Mexico is genuine or counterfeit. There is less regulation of pharmacy practice there.

I was given generic Celebrex that was from Greenstone and was doing great. Pharmacy switched generic brands and started dispensing Teva Celecoxib. While most celecoxib capsules are small, these were huge. Almost immediately I started with indigestion which gradually got worse. I had a 90-day supply of the pills. In the last two months of taking the pills I developed acid reflux and was miserable. They also weren’t working. Told my pharmacist he had to find me a different brand. He found another generic, and the acid reflux stopped almost immediately. NO Teva Celecixib for me.

Authorized generic Amlodipine (Cauduet) is no longer being made. Greenstone locator service located a source for a few leftovers, but no one should anticipate a continuing supply. Disappointing.

I’ve taken different generics over the years and found that I had only one drug category that was a problem. That was NSAIDS. Volteran, Feldene and several others worked great until they suddenly became generic and didn’t work anymore. I would then switch to another brand name. I am now on Meloxicam and surprised that the generic works great. First time in 38 yrs!

Because of the prior comments, I will be able to do more research on where my meds come from.

I have had an ongoing problem with Xanax. I was getting my RX from a big name pharmacy, and then I noticed a change in the color and found quite quickly that it wasn’t working. I have an anxiety problem that responded well for years with Alparzolam. I switched to another big pharmacy who, at that time, carried the drug by DAVA, which worked great. Recently I read that DAVA was acquired by another company, and now find that the Xanax is totally ineffective. I have been taking a stronger dose to keep myself on an even keel but have been very upset that the drug store tells me that it is the same as Dava. But it isn’t.

After two unsuccesful treatment with interferon and ribavirine,I used a generic Harvoni from India to treat hepatitis C,and it’s works,after two years I am undetectable.Generic,sometime,are ok and prices are resonable.

People are confused between “approved” vs “authorized” generics. Brand name Effexor XR by Pfizer has an “authorized” EXACT generic version. Not only the drug and filler ingreients but ALSO the manufacturing process. This is what gives Greenstone the only generic version that is identical. At one point Pfizer bought up g’stone to make their exact brand drugs with a generic name. E.g., my Effexor XR was the only version that worked for me — until I uncovered the identical generic, Greenstone Venlafaxine XR. At times my rx bottle was actually the original Effexor container. The capsules then even said Effexor XR. By doing this, Pfizer was able to sell the same drug as a generic and as brand, giving them an advantage over all the other companies who couldn’t copy their secret timed-release process. That was the key to getting 24-hour coverage, rather than the med delivering a big hit in the first couple hours and then almost nothing after that. The word “authorized” was key. I saved a ton of money with this and still actually got the brand drug (altho generic name) and otherwise would not have been able to purchase. Only Greenstone worked. It took a lot of research to discover this, but finally found out on the Pfizer site ( don’t know if it still explains that). Pharmacist was willing to purchase the Greenstone generic. It took a number of years for the fda to change their info to show that the other generics had to use wording as Venlafaxine ER, vs Greenstone’s Venlafaxine XR. The XR meant it had the branded time release factor. No difference between brand Effexor and Greenstone generic. Same exact manufacturing and ALL ingredients. ER and XR designations were not equivalent. They implied the same (extended release), but technically weren’t. Hope this clarifies for readers that many generic drugs are now available as “authorized” generics. One just has to figure out if and what company name to specify. A good pharmacist will cooperate, as will a dr. if willing to write the generic company name on the rx.

Had a similar problem when I tried to refill my Relpax. I was given a generic made in India. I refused it. The pharmacy kept refilling with things made in India although they showed the company was in the US. I finally researched it myself and found a company in Israel that provided it. I took it to another pharmacy and they were able to supply it.

I have been taking Toprol for years. Generic does not work for me. Do you have an authorized generic drug and manufacturer for Toprol?

I don’t like taking generics from foreign countries. Getting brand names are outrageously expensive. The FDA should make some stipulations so we as customers can get the drugs we really need at a reasonable price. There should be a bill in Congress for this purpose. I am a senior on Medicare and have a small pension. My budget does not allow for rising costs for generics or other medications I have to take. This has got to be addressed. It seems like the older I get the more expensive it is for me to live.

I take Celebrex for osteoarthritis. It was a miracle drug for me when I started taking it nearly 15 years ago. I felt relief almost immediately and as others have shared had no stomach issues. I took it when my arthritis seemed to flare up, and then I could discontinue a daily dose until things started to hurt again. When generics came available I was excited because the cost would decrease but, as others shared, I began to get little to no relief. I didn’t realize for several years that it was the generic meds. I just thought my issues were getting more severe. I asked my Dr. for other medications to try, and he was reluctant to give me anything else. He suggested marijuana drops because it’s legal in my state, and he felt it would be less toxic to my body. I tried the drops and got no relief. Finally I read an article a year or so ago about the authorized genetics!!

I googled Greenstone and found they have a toll-free number you can call, and they will find a pharmacy that will fill your generic prescription with their product!!! When I called around on my own none of the chain pharmacies carried Greenstone, and none of them including my Dr knew anything about authorized generics! I called three big-chain pharmacies. After making the call myself to Greenstone they were able to get my preferred pharmacy to get the authorized generic with a few days. I could tell the first time I took the meds that they were working. I have arranged with my pharmacy to always fill my prescription from Greenstone. Here is the number for anyone taking Celebrex and wanting to get Greenstone to quickly help them get the medication. +1 (855) 222-8588.

I buy most of my medicine online from india. Many brand name drugs are much cheaper there. Most of the big Pharma companies make their drugs there too so as to give poor people a chance to get medicine.

Most of the Canadian Online drug companies source their drugs from India and then charge you ten times the price.

What about the poor people here in the U.S.? You know, the ones who take only half their medicine for the month so they can afford food? Big Pharma should be able to afford to lower their cost on ALL meds. They should be able to afford manufacturing safe meds here in this country with the proper oversight. Their profits run into the billions of dollars. I believe it simply comes down to simple greed. What can they do to cut costs and increase profits? We are all seeing and experiencing the bottom line. And I’m sure they sleep quite well at night.

It’s terrifying that we are not being told the real story of generics. Thank you for the truth! It seems that while we are suffering, these companies are getting RICHER.

I’ve forwarded this article to as many of my friends as I can.

Keep on telling us what’s going on in this realm.

Oh, my goodness. I took Lexapro for a long time. I always said it saved my life, worked like nothing else. Then, the generic came along. Never worked as well. Had to take larger dose and still didn’t work as well. Doctors insist that the generic is just as good as the original. Not so!! I got off of the generic because it was not helping and had a horrible time. I feel so sad about this. I wish something could be done about always assuming that the generic is the same and knowing that the manufacturing in other countries does not adhere to the standards we have here in the U.S. It is really unsettling.

I totally agree the information regarding where a medication is made should be printed on the bottle. I discovered by accident that a generic blood pressure med was from China only because the mail order prescription Co. had an extra paper attached as part of the bottle, it was a new color. I refused to take it and called the mo company myself, I told them I refused to injest any medication from China.

I did have to call around to find where I could get the medication made somewhere other than China. Now, they don’t put that extra tab on the medications and I look it up myself where the mfg. is located. I’m going to hunt around to see if there are any generic brand pharmacys near me.

I am a clinical pharmacist with a doctorate in my field from University of Michigan. I can attest to every one of these issues raised by patients. Authorized generics are certainly one way to go, but often they cannot be “had,” as they are not in anyone’s ordering system. Then there’s the problem with insurance: if the authorized generic is not on the insurance company’s formulary, the insurer will not pay for it. It puts patients in a terrible position. And yes, physicians often do not know the laws regarding generic substitution, and it is an education process. The laws are different in every single state, so there’s a lot of work to do!

In addition, there are also nurse practitioners and physician assistants who write prescriptions, so more practitioners that must be educated. In the state of Florida, a prescriber must write on the face of the prescription “Medically Necessary” for it to be legal to dispense brand name only. The same dictum applies to electronic prescriptions. Otherwise, the patient is on the hook for the whole amount of the brand medication. Usually quite expensive. Other states, the term “DAW” (dispense as written) must be written legibly on the face of the hard copy of the prescription. Lots of rules/laws that pharmacists must abide by to get a prescription correctly to the patient!!

The Pharmacists Association in the UK documented a more worrying issue: the problem of ‘availability’ which, to a layman, means a lack of precise formula. In my case, generic levothyroxine varied from one manufacturer to another and almost resulted in lapsing into Addison’s disease. In France, doctors will not use generics for thyroid issues: ‘it’s not in the patients’ best interests’. In the US, corporate greed and short-changing ‘customers’ is what makes big pharma even bigger. A disgrace that this isn’t being monitored.

About 5 years ago my insurance company decided, without consent from me or my primary care physician, that I would take generic for Diovan HCT. Upon receiving it from my CVS Pharmacy mail order, I called them and asked why it wasn’t the brand. Their response was that the generic was the same as brand and if I preferred brand, my primary care physician would have to request it. Since I was instructed to never skip my blood pressure med or stop taking it, I went ahead and took one of the generic ones. Within 15 minutes I began having terrible chest pains, couldn’t breathe and my arms became immobile and hurt so badly I thought they were falling off! I called my PCP and informed him of what happened and asked that he demand brand, then informed the insurance company and CVS Pharmacy that they nearly killed a good, paying customer!

My doctor determined by blood tests that my thyroid levels remained stable only when I took the original drug, Synthroid. Whenever I go to a new pharmacy or go to a hospital for admission, they always say that the only thyroid drug they can get is the generic levothyroxine. They always say Synthroid can be special-ordered but it will take some time to get it. It is always a lot more expensive than the generic pill and not covered by my insurance. Why do they make it so hard to get the drug we need and charge so much for it?

Hi
I live in Canada.
Does anyone know if the generic meds here are the same as in the U.S ?
Thank you!

For pain associated with her cancer, my wife was prescribed a Fentanyl patch. These patches did nothing for her pain. Later, I mentioned this to an anesthesiologist who asked if it was a brand-name patch or a generic. Told it was a generic, he said. “Oh, it’s well known that the generics have a delivery problem. For some reason they don’t get the medication into the body.” I have been skeptical of generics ever since. Most are probably fine but some are clearly not.

I now use Nature Throid a thyroid medication for hypothyroidism because I use to buy Armour thyroid but they changed their ingredients, probably using fillers that did not agree with me. The fillers are less expensive and manufactured in China where our (FDA) Food and Drug Association is not allowed to enter. I also have to wait several weeks before my pharmacy can fill my prescription for Non-Generic Medrol 4mg dosage. I do not wait until the last minute when ordering prescriptions.

Thank you for addressing the problem with generic drugs. We also went through this with my husbands antidepressant generic cymbalta that suddenly stopped working and my daughters seizure medications. I found out that there is no “authorized” generic for them, only unauthorized generics. That means that only the active ingredients have to be the same, the rest do not, including the ones responsible for delivering the drug through your body. If that part of the drug doesn’t work then it doesn’t get distributed and is the same as not taking them at all.

I’ve also found that the biggest culprits of ineffective drugs are the manufacturers from India and China. The most important information I found is that the FDA has a section on their website where you can report a generic that doesn’t work and they HAVE to investigate any that are reported. It’s a fairly quick process- it took me less than 5 minutes. They are not going to change anything unless we all flood them with complaints. And it’s true, the doctors do not know these things but my pharmacist did.

I was taking Celebrex when the generic formulation came out and, of course, my insurance company switched me to the generic. I have had numerous back surgeries and Celebrex was the only thing that actually helped the pain without causing extreme gastro distress. The generic did nothing. It was useless. Then I read about Authorize Generics on your website. When I took my Rx to CVS, I requested Greenstone. They had to order it for me but it made such a difference! Like others, I was to the point that I was willing to pay out of pocket for the brand name Celebrex just to have some relief. Thanks to People’s Pharmacy and Authorized Generics, I didn’t have to do that.

Thank you for the information about how CVS ordered your meds from Greenstone. I take Metformin and I’m going to see if they will do that for me because it caused me intestinal pain with diarrhea several times a day until I stopped taking it.

I can’t take synthroid, so I’ve been on Levoxyl for years. Recently I’ve been getting sick — dizzy, jittery, heat palpitations — and I couldn’t figure out what was causing it. Then I went from hypo to hyerthyroid, and developed hypertension.

When I talked to my pharmacist, I discovered I’d been taking the generic of Levoxyl — which is levothyroxine: levothyroxine is also the generic for the brand, Synthroid.

Then my pharmacist informed me that the only way I could get the real Levoxyl is if my doctor stipulated it, in writing, on every prescription she wrote for me for Levoxyl. If she didn’t do that, I’d get the generic levothyroxine because it’s the law — they HAVE to fill the prescription with the generic no matter what the prescription says unless otherwise stipulated.

So I talked to my rheumatologist about it, and she said “Don’t worry, I’ll just write in your records that you have to be given Levoxyl.” So I told her: “IT HAS TO BE WRITTEN ON THE PRESCRIPTION or they’ll give me levothyroxine. She then told me to “just tell the pharmacist” that you need Levoxyl. I was amazed. My Doctor doesn’t even understand this law! I’m still not sure she gets it.

I’ve been seeing people with thyroid issues all over the internet talking about how their Levoxyl medication “isn’t working anymore,” and they’re having to go on Armour instead. Now I know why.

I use various generics due to non coverage of name brands by insurance. I have a corn allergy and have a lot of trouble finding generics that don’t have corn or it’s by products in the inactive ingredients. The large chain pharmacies don’t even keep the prescribing info from the drug manufacturer to be able to check inactive.

Anything you buy in a store has to disclose all ingredients and yet pharmacies don’t check ingredients for allergies. If they do have the detailed prescribing info sheet, I have to show them where to look for the inactive ingredients.

Something is wrong with this process.

I would like to know what you think and know about generic thyroid medicine. I have been on thyroid replacement for many years and some of them generic. My doctor said I needed to take the brand name, but I have always wondered why.

When it comes to using generic medicines it really is a case of trial and error. I lived in Ireland most of my life and always was prescribed Branded drugs I actually had never heard of Generic medicines until I moved to the UK and boy did I have problems! At first, I thought I was ill and I seemed to spend half my life in the Drs and what really annoyed me was they never said it was the tablets! Anyhow I started to notice I felt better some months and not so good others it then dawned on me it was the different generic drugs so I made a note of the ones with the least side effects and also the ones that delivered the best results and now I stick to these although it is a nightmare every time I need a new medicine as I have to start all over again . Personally, I believe these substandard drugs should be banned! It is an utter disgrace that some Governments allow them to be sold and do not give a care about the suffering and pain people go through. Do not let anyone tell you they are the same! basically a branded drug delivees 100% of the medicine but generic drugs can deliver anything between 80% & 110% and in my case it was happening with Beta Blockers to control my heart rte so some months it was too fast and other months too slow and this was having a dreadful effect on my general health also generic drugs have a lot of cheap inactive ingredients in them usually they are bright red/green or blue with E nos that are banded in most parts of the civilised Worldto make matters worse in the UK all medical care is free including the drugs and you have to accept what you are given unless you go to one of the few private Drs and pay and they will prescribe whatever drug you need,.

This is appalling. Why is our government not taking more care of the prescription drugs that they are supposed to be overseeing for safety’s sake for the citizenry. The fact that a lot of these generic drugs are made in other countries where there hardly seems any oversight and are allowed to be distributed by our pharmacies is a disgusting tribute to our dysfunctional medical community. Doctors know nothing, drug companies plead unaware or just don’t care, insurance companies force us to take drugs (unchecked chemicals, placebos, or whatever) that don’t work, government does nothing. The fact that some have to go to Canada for the right to a name brand drug so they can feel better…..that is not allowed by the autocratic insurance companies….is shocking. These ineffective drugs need to be removed, the companies that make them should be punished.

So true. I have been taking generic medication for years and am still in poor health.

I take Klonipin for seizures. The name brand is very expensive and hard to find. The generic does not work. The pharmacies in Canada can not fill this prescription. I would like to know about authorized generics. It would be helpful if pharmacies would give this information

I wish we could get a list of common generic drugs that have ingredients from or are made in countries like China. It should be our right to know where the chemicals we are ingesting come from.

It should absolutely be possible to easily find out where a drug is produced. I don’t understand why there are standards for drugs and other products produced in the US but US companies don’t require foreign companies to adhere to those standards when they make products for sale in the US. If you look on labels, it will say something like “produced for distribution ” for such and such company, but not where it is produced/made. Why can’t the wording be required to be “produced in China for distribution by such and such company”?

IMO, there is a certain level of paranoia and/or snobbishness among american’s and their fear of generic drugs made in other countries. I reside in Costa Rica. I have purchased and continue to use various generic drugs made in India, Mexico, etc. All these plain generic medications deliver the same results as the name brand I used. Companies that produce generic medications in other countries may not have the FDA to answer to but they have governments that imprison company owners, managers, and board members for selling fake medications. That kind of government response seems to provide more incentive to produce good valid medications than some fine the FDA may impose in the US.

What I do is to google the vendor’s name to find out if it is an Indian pharmaceutical company or a front company. What I determine is a “front company” is one that establishes a finishing site (encapsulating or tablet pressing) here in the US, but uses the bulk ingredients from India—Aurobindo is one example. I have a list of approximately 10 Indian pharmaceutical companies, including Aurobindo, that I will not use. As an example, about 3 years ago, I noticed that my montelukast (for allergy) was no longer working as well. I checked the bottle and discovered that 3 weeks earlier the pharmacy had switched from Roxane to Aurobindo without my approval. I immediately switched back to Roxane and still continue to specify that brand. Walgreen’s has been great at ordering my meds for me from reputable US manufacturers.

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