By: Joe Graedon February 15, 2014 103 Comments
    Why We Have Lost Confidence in Generic Drugs: Ne…

    Gardiner Harris has written a powerful front-page story for the New York Times titled "Medicines Made in India Set Off Safety Worries" (Feb. 15, 2014). If anything, the headline downplays the seriousn…

    By: Terry Graedon February 13, 2014 3 Comments
    FDA Head’s Travel to Address Quality Contr…

    The FDA has long maintained that generic drugs are every bit as good as their brand name counterparts. But in recent years the agency has had  to crack down on foreign generic drug manufacturers beca…

    By: Joe Graedon January 28, 2014 74 Comments
    Indian Generic Drug Firm Ranbaxy Is in Big Troub…

    The FDA has just banned the importation of pharmaceutical ingredients from the largest drug company in India, but it is not the first time. Four of Ranbaxy's five manufacturing facilities once made dr…

    By: Terry Graedon January 15, 2014 14 Comments
    More Trouble for Indian Generic Manufacturer Cou…

    Over 80 percent of the prescription medications that Americans now buy from pharmacies are generic rather than brand name. The majority of the ingredients in those pills come from abroad. India and Ch…

    By: Terry Graedon January 6, 2014 14 Comments
    Be Wary of Stratospheric Increases in Generic Dr…

    Generic medications are supposed to be a bargain. According to the FDA, patients may be able to save as much as 80 percent on some products. Big box discount stores have enticed customers with a three…

    By: Terry Graedon October 28, 2013 13 Comments
    Why Don’t You Trust Generic Drugs as Much …

    Why don't patients and their doctors trust generic drugs? Despite the fact that 84 percent of all prescriptions are dispensed in their generic form, there is still a great deal of skepticism about the…

    By: Terry Graedon October 17, 2013 56 Comments
    FDA Follow-Up Finds Another Generic Bupropion Fa…

    The Food and Drug Administration has issued a long-awaited report on the quality of a generic antidepressant. Last October the FDA reported that one generic form of the drug Wellbutrin did not meet it…

    By: Joe Graedon July 4, 2013 23 Comments
    Generic Switch Triggers Diazepam Side Effects &#…

    Q. I had horrific side effects from 5mg diazepam when I was switched to a different generic diazepam. The first time I took the new pills, I woke up feeling like I was being shocked or as if I were ha…

    By: Joe Graedon June 26, 2013 63 Comments
    Has the Court Made Generic Drugs Too Risky?

    Americans have long believed in accountability. Harm someone and you should be held responsible, both criminally and civilly. That's why we have lawyers and courts. If your neighbor recklessly cuts do…

    By: Joe Graedon May 13, 2013 27 Comments
    Generic Drug Maker Pleads Guilty to Felony

    Ranbaxy USA has just pleaded guilty to felony charges involving adulterated drugs made in India for the U.S. market. It is the largest drug safety settlement in history. Despite continuous reassurance…

    By: Joe Graedon April 16, 2013 50 Comments
    FDA Silent On Generic Drug Fraud

    The brand new report from ProPublica reads like a detective story. A whistleblower working for a drug testing firm alerts the FDA that some scientists in the company were fudging data. A team of FDA i…

    By: Terry Graedon April 8, 2013 8 Comments
    Generic Seizure Medicine Let Him Down

    Q. I have epilepsy and was well controlled on Keppra and Topamax for years. When I was switched to generic Keppra (levetiracetam) without realizing it, I had several seizures in two weeks. I fell down…

    By: Terry Graedon April 1, 2013 8 Comments
    Is It Safe to Save Money on Medicine?

    America loves generic drugs. Anyone who has to pay for medication is thrilled at the prospect of saving big bucks on prescription medicine. That includes insurance companies, hospitals, government age…

    By: Joe Graedon March 28, 2013 31 Comments
    Carvedilol Side Effects from Generic Coreg

    One of the most popular beta blockers being prescribed these days is carvedilol (Coreg). Even though this class of medication is no longer perceived by most cardiology experts as appropriate first-lin…

    By: Terry Graedon March 21, 2013 1 Comments
    Generic Lipitor Lures Shoppers

    Some stores like to offer loss leaders to attract shoppers. This usually involves products like cereal, soft drinks, or facial tissue being sold at, or below, cost. Now supermarket chains are using th…

    By: Terry Graedon January 21, 2013 51 Comments
    Scary Generic Coreg (Carvedilol) Side Effects

    Q. My wife has been taking Coreg for 10 years and doing well. Last week she was advised that a generic version of the drug (carvedilol) was available. At the advice of the pharmacist (who insisted tha…

    By: Terry Graedon January 10, 2013 28 Comments
    Generic Drug Equivalency Coming Unraveled

    For decades, we were told by the FDA, physicians, pharmacists and consumer organizations that generic drugs were "identical" to their brand name equivalents. We believed them. In fact, we led the char…

    By: Terry Graedon December 3, 2012 10 Comments
    Did Glass in Atorvastatin Pills Damage Stomach?

    By now you should have heard that the huge Indian generic drug company, Ranbaxy, finally agreed to halt production of its generic Lipitor (atorvastatin) because somehow glass particles got into the pr…

    By: Terry Graedon November 27, 2012 6 Comments
    Where Did Contaminated Atorvastatin Come From?

    By now you no doubt know that a generic formulation of Lipitor (atorvastatin) made by the Indian company Ranbaxy was contaminated with small glass particles. The company announced its recall last week…

    By: Terry Graedon November 23, 2012 30 Comments
    Breaking News: Atorvastatin (Generic Lipitor) Re…

    Lipitor has been the most successful drug in the history of the pharmaceutical industry. Nothing else even gets close. Sales of Lipitor exceeded more than $130 billion. In its heyday millions of peopl…

    By: Joe Graedon October 22, 2012 5 Comments
    Patient Relieved at Drug’s Removal

    Q. I am so relieved that the FDA finally got the antidepressant Budeprion XL 300 off the market. Years ago my insurance company switched me from Wellbutrin XL 300 to Budeprion XL 300. Within a short t…

    By: Joe Graedon October 15, 2012 17 Comments
    Popular Generic Antidepressant Recalled

    On October 3, 2012 the FDA announced that the generic antidepressant Budeprion XL 300 (bupropion) was not identical to the brand name drug Wellbutrin XL 300 and would be removed from pharmacy shelves.…

    By: Terry Graedon September 3, 2012 103 Comments
    Patients Vindicated! Generic Wellbutrin Withdraw…

    We are reposting our People's Pharmacy Alert from October 3, 2012 because of The New York Times article about "An Increase in Scrutiny for Generics." On October 3, 2012, the Food and Drug Administrati…

    By: Terry Graedon September 3, 2012 19 Comments
    Whom Do You Trust Re: Generic Drugs?

    The Food and Drug Administration has a culture of secrecy and a seeming lack of concern about reports of generic drug failures from patients, physicians and pharmacists. The response from the FDA, if …

    By: Terry Graedon August 27, 2012 4 Comments
    Trouble with Generic Bupropion

    Q. Three times I have been forced by my insurance company to switch from Wellbutrin XL to generic bupropion. Each time depression reared its ugly, gloomy head and darkness descended again. Wellbutrin …

    By: Terry Graedon April 9, 2012 8 Comments
    Generic Drug Is Matter of Life and Death

    Q. My husband is suffering seizures after being forced to switch to generic levetiracetam (Keppra). I can buy the brand for $735.00 per month, but at 62 years of age we can't afford to spend this much…

    By: Terry Graedon February 27, 2012 10 Comments
    Generic Cholesterol Drug Didn’t Work

    Q. I am a cardiologist with a patient who had elevated cholesterol in 2010. Her total cholesterol was 245 and her LDL was 156. This was too high, so I put her on Pravachol. It brought her cholesterol …

    By: Joe Graedon February 19, 2012 27 Comments
    Are People Who Complain About Generic Drugs Nut …

    Q. Never, never, never trust random folks on the internet for med advice. Generic drugs have to be the exact same thing as the brand name by law. The bioavailability as well as the delivery system als…

    By: Terry Graedon August 17, 2011 7 Comments
    Generic Drug Inspections Proposed

    Over the last decade or so there have been growing concerns about the quality of generic drugs. That is because 40 percent of the finished products and 80 percent of the raw ingredients are manufactur…

    By: Terry Graedon June 13, 2011 43 Comments
    Generic Xanax Generates Anxiety

    Q. The generic form of Xanax, alprazolam, does not work for me. It is at best 50 percent effective. A few years ago I was given alprazolam in place of Xanax. My panic attacks came back with a vengeanc…

    By: Terry Graedon May 15, 2011 12 Comments
    Kidney Transplant Failure

    Q. My husband was hospitalized for acute kidney transplant rejection. The doctor was very concerned when told that he had switched a few months earlier to generic tacrolimus. He had been on Prograf fo…

    By: Joe Graedon April 11, 2011 154 Comments
    Why Pharmacists Are Wrong About Generic Drugs

    Most (but not all) pharmacists routinely tell patients that generic drugs are identical to brand name medications. That is hardly surprising. This is what pharmacy students are told during their educa…

    By: Joe Graedon March 17, 2011 62 Comments
    Generic Prozac Was A Downer

    Q. My husband has been taking Prozac successfully for years. He was recently switched to generic fluoxetine. In the last several months he has become much the same person he was before Prozac--angry, …

    By: Joe Graedon January 24, 2011 51 Comments
    Pharmacist Spills the Beans on Generic Drug Orig…

    I am a pharmacist with 40 years of practice. I am very disturbed about the generic drugs that are coming into this country from who knows where. Unfortunately, we have little choice in choosing a gene…

    By: Terry Graedon November 7, 2010 19 Comments
    Should Generic Drugs Be Safer?

    For decades the FDA has reassured physicians, pharmacists and patients that generic drugs are identical to their brand name counterparts. Insurance companies love this guarantee. They often require pa…

    By: Terry Graedon August 5, 2010 10 Comments
    Trouble with Generic Seizure Medicine

    Q. I'm 17 years old and I have epilepsy. I started taking Keppra two years ago. It got my seizures under control and I went into remission. I recently moved to a new state and my new doctor switched m…

    By: Terry Graedon July 21, 2010 25 Comments
    Trouble Switching between Generic Levothyroxine …

    Q. I have taken levothyroxine for several years but my insurance keeps changing the brand (from Synthroid to Levothroid to several generics). I have had progressively deteriorating hypothyroid symptom…

    By: Terry Graedon April 11, 2010 3 Comments
    Are Your Pills Legit?

    When you think about big heists, what comes to mind? Diamonds? Cash stolen from an armored car? Perhaps a priceless painting from a museum? Prescription drugs turn out to be a growing target for thiev…

    By: Terry Graedon February 16, 2010 2 Comments
    Diabetes Drug Smells Awful

    People with type-2 diabetes are often prescribed a drug called metformin. It is quite effective in helping to control blood glucose. But there is a problem with this medication. Many patients stop tak…

    By: Terry Graedon January 20, 2010 0 Comments
    Beware Counterfeit Weight Loss Drug

    Alli is the only FDA-approved non-prescription weight loss drug. It is a lower dose of orlistat, prescribed under the brand name Xenical. The FDA is now warning consumers about counterfeit Alli. The c…