Imagine for a moment the tale of two friends, Jim and Joe. Jim takes Gleemonex, which makes it feel like it’s 72 degrees in your head all the time. Joe takes a generic form of the drug, which we’ll call walmonex. If the folks who make Gleemonex realize there’s a problem with the drug, they can immediately slap a warning on the product before getting FDA approval, but if the makers of the walmonex discover that same problem, they currently have to wait for the FDA and the brand-name drug makers to review the issue. This loophole is, quite obviously, a bad thing for consumers. So it’s good news that the FDA is now looking to close it. [More]
When I was a child, many of the items in my kitchen cupboard were in plain white containers with red and black block lettering, so I learned early not to be a brand snob — with a couple of exceptions. I am one of those people that turn into a sour-faced 4-year-old whenever I find my only ketchup and mayonnaise options are generic store-brand versions. But my cohorts at Consumer Reports claim that there are comparable, less expensive generics available for these and other pantry staples. [More]
For everyday over-the-counter drugs like painkillers or allergy medicine, do you pick up the brand name, or a generic? Even if the inactive ingredients and binders are slightly different, the brand-name and store-brand meds that sit side-by-side on the shelf should have the same effects. One costs a lot less. So why does anyone buy name-brand over-the-counter drugs? [More]
When a generic version of a drug comes on the market, the holder of the brand-name drug’s patent stands to see a steep drop in sales as many customers switch to the lower-price option. Thus, some companies will go to great lengths to delay the release of generics. One such method, dubbed “pay-for-delay,” involves the patent-holder suing manufacturers of generics and then settling for millions of dollars with the agreement that the generic suppliers will hold off on releasing their product. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission has the right to challenge these sorts of deals. [More]
After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration learned about potentially fraudulent work done on behalf of pharmaceutical companies by a contract research firm in Texas, they didn’t pull the drugs off the market. You might think, though, that they might hold off on approving new drugs based on testing that came from that lab. You would be wrong. [More]
The Food and Drug Administration has given the go ahead to seven companies to begin producing Plavix in generic form. As someone who has to shell out over $100 for about 10 pills to quarter and force an unwilling, yet sick cat, to take, I am pretty darn excited about this whole situation. [More]
There are numerous ways for makers of pricey brand-name drugs to delay the release of generic copies and hold on to the market for even a few months longer. They could make slight changes to the doses or even go so far as to buy a company that supplies a needed ingredient. But one pharmaceutical company is taking a new approach to putting off the release of generic versions — etching an additional score into the pill’s surface. [More]
Had David’s wife not probed closely, she could have ended up paying $228 for generic Fosamax that could have been easily gotten for $24. He’s sharing the story as a cautionary tale so that other people who are getting their maintenance prescriptions covered by their employer’s insurance don’t end up overpaying for generics. [More]
Reddit user TheKarateKid says he emailed a major drug company asking why their $500 version of a $10 generic is worth the $490 markup. The drug company rep accidentally emailed the customer back this message intended for her colleague. [More]
Cheap generic drugs are good for when you’re between jobs, between insurance, or if you’ve just got a prescription drug plan that is costing you too much money. You might find, as Wise Bread did, that a generic version of your medication actually causes fewer side effects in addition to being more cost-effective. [More]
There are some people out there who just don’t get how much crazy money you can save with buying generic drugs. For those folks, this infographic was crafted by Mint.com. To illustrate the cost-savings possible, they took a look at Advil. For the same 200 mg of isobutylpropanoicphenolic acid, people are willing to pay over $8 more per box. Those pretty graphics aren’t going to chase away your headache any faster, honey. Let’s take a look: [More]
When shopping for soda, it’s a reasonable assumption that store-brand colas have more or less the same amount of caffeine as the name brand, right? Or at least the same amount of caffeine from one bottle to another. Some scientists studied a wide variety of sodas, tested their caffeine levels and learned…not so much. [More]
Have you ever used a muscle relaxer to treat muscle pain? In this video from our sister publication, Consumer Reports Health shows how that might not be the best first choice. [More]
Store brand is the new black. Nielesen says that buying of generic brands has increased 8% since 2007. Name brand purchases have dropped ~4%. But here’s a question: what’s what’s never okay to get as a store brand? For me, it’s tomato sauce. It’s like pouring ketchup on your spaghetti. [Boston Globe via NYT Bucks Blog] (Thanks to James!) [More]
Reader BrotherFlounder is wondering what’s so special about these generic Winn-Dixie snack bags that makes them more expensive than similar brand name ones.
Medtipster is a website that locates nearby sources of discount generic versions of prescription drugs, as well as flu and other immunization shots. You enter the drug (or shot) you’re looking for and your zip code and it spits out a list of nearby pharmacies. Currently they don’t list H1N1 vaccination sources, but they say they’re going to add that info as soon as it becomes available.
The Chinese poison train makes plenty of stops outside of the United States. When those stops are in developing countries, bad things can happen. Even worse things happen when dangerous products from China are intentionally mislabeled as being from another country. Say, India.