- Prescription drugs can be a costly medical expense, especially for older people and those who are chronically ill. Those suffering from emphysema a chronic and serious lung condition, where the lungs lose their elasticity, and from arteriosclerosis heart disease in particular incur very costly drug and medication expense. Also, patients involved in treatment based on nanotechnology in cancer have very costly drug and therapy costs.
As far as diabetes and serious diabetic neuropathy is concerned the ongoing high cost of "generic prescription drugs" such as Glucophage and Glucovance can prove to be a big strain on the diabetics budget! Unfortunately, at this time there are no generic prescription drug prescriptions available for many popular medicines, including the diabetes drugs just mentioned.
Each US State has a law that lets pharmacists substitute less expensive generic prescription drugs for many brand-name products. Depending on your prescription drug needs, your savings could be significant. Before you talk with your doctor or pharmacist about switching, there are things you need to know about generic prescription drugs and the law.
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Whats the basic difference between a generic drug
and brand-name prescription drugs?
Not much, except for name and a much lower drug price. A generic prescription drug is called by its chemical name; a manufacturer assigns a brand name. The products have the same ingredients.
Standard practice and most state laws require that a generic drug be generically equivalent to its brand-name counterpart. That is, it must have the same active ingredients, strength, and dosage formpill, liquid, or injection. The generic drug also must be therapeutically equivalentit must be the same chemically and have the same medical effect.
Do all drugs have generic equivalents?
No. Some drugs are protected by patents and are supplied by only one company. However, when the patent expires, other manufacturers can produce its generic version. Currently, about half the drugs on the market are available in generic form.
How can I get generic drugs?
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Explain that you want the most effective drug at the best price. Ask your doctor to write prescriptions for generic drugs when possible. Generic Drugs will save you money!
Are there exceptions to the law?
Yes. If your doctor writes on the prescription form that a specific brand-name drug is required, your pharmacist must fill the prescription as written. That is, a "generic prescription drug"e; may not be substituted. More general health information is quickly available online at various medical websites including web medical doctor.
However, your pharmacist can talk with your doctor about the prescription. Perhaps theres an acceptable generic drug that your doctor is not aware of. The best place to find medicine prices. Your pharmacist can compare and evaluate generic and brand-name drugs and may be able to consult with your doctor to provide the right medication at the best possible price.
Will my doctor automatically prescribe generic drugs?
It depends on the physician. You can ask your doctor to write a prescription permitting substitution of a generic drug product when appropriate. You also can ask whether a generic product will be as effective and less costly. Or, you can request that only brand-name products be used to fill your prescriptions.
Where can I get more information?
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The Food and Drug Administration has a toll-free hot line to answer questions about drug safety and efficacy. Call 1-800-532-4440. You also can visit the FDA at www.fda.gov click on Human Drugs.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
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