Doctor’s Group Says Patients Should Use Generics
A physicians' group is recommending that patients should use generic prescription drugs rather than more expensive brand-name medications whenever possible.
According to the American College of Physicians (ACP), as many as 45 percent of prescriptions for diabetes patients on Medicare are for brand names, although generics are available. Using generics instead, the ACP contends, could result in a savings of $1.4 billion for Medicare.
The group said that people with prescriptions for brand-name drugs were also more likely not to pick them because of the cost. The study suggests patients often tell their doctor that the medication is unaffordable, and so they don't take it. Other times the patient will take too low a dose of the medication as they try to stretch out its use, but that can have adverse health effects.
The ACP suggests that recent research has shown that brand-name developers charge sometimes ‘astronomical’ prices for drugs, simply because they can. Experts believe that doctors may not be aware of generic replacements for some drugs, and that more doctor-education programs, interactive programs, or public health campaigns, may help solve the problem.