Many people prefer taking generic drugs over brand-name drugs because the generics are less expensive. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), eight out of ten people in this nation take generic medicines, saving them $158 billion on prescriptions in 2010. Even Consumer Reports has stated that generics save people 80% over brand-name drugs, so it’s no wonder why generic drugs are appealing. However, the questions surrounding generic drugs are:
- Are generics safe?
- Are they as effective as their brand-name counterparts?
Money Talks News looks to answer these questions. In its recent news article, it stated that generic prescriptions can be less effective than their brand-name counterparts and can even be potentially dangerous. Although it is rare, it has happened in some situations.
Even though the FDA requires generic drugs to have the “same quality and performance of name-brand drugs,” they are not identical to their name-brand counterparts. In fact, they often don’t have the same mechanism releasing the active ingredients from the pill, according to the website ConsumerLab.com. When the active ingredients have a different rate of release into the blood, many patients complain about the generic’s effectiveness. Unfortunately, the active ingredients may be the same, but the time-release medications may not be.
One such example of this was the antidepressant Budeprion XL 300mg, the generic for Wellbutrin XL 300mg. One patient on Budeprion said he suffered adverse drug side effects and became suicidal and was horribly depressed. In fact, the drug’s manufacturer took Budeprion XL 300mg off the market last year after the FDA reviewed new data that showed Budeprion XL 300mg was not therapeutically equivalent to Wellbutrin XL 300mg.