I Have Recently Switched From Actonel To Generic Fosomax Because Of Cost. What Will Be The Effect, I

Question

Asked by Barbara Pandolfo

I Have Recently Switched From Actonel To Generic Fosomax Because Of Cost. What Will Be The Effect, I

I had been taking Actonel for 6+ years, I have gone from osteoporisis to osteopenia. Medicare no longer covers Actonel and the cost is $75.00

Answer

Hi Barbara: These insurances changes are always tough, and I wondered what would happen with MC when fosamax became available in generic, and you've answered that question.

Have you tried to get your insurance co to accept actonel through an appeal for coverage? All insurance co's have this process available to their members, so if you wanted to stay on actonel, you could try this. I know quite a few people who have had success with this. You can look at your insurance booklet and try for a "tier change" (changes the copay price on a drug). Usually you just have to explain your reasoning for wanting to stay on actonel, and have your Dr fill out the form. Normally there has to be a medical reason for this, like being allergic to one of the in-active ingredients in fosamax or something else along those lines.

There should be little to no difference between brand name fosamax and the generic. Here's a link from our expert Dr. Gonter on this topic.

As far as there being a difference between actonel and fosamax, you'd have to read the clinical trial that was done on the two drugs called the FACT (Fosamax Actonel Comparison Trial). Here's a link to a summary on that trial. Fosamax and actonel, even though in the same class of drugs, may have slightly different benefits to some individuals, but you would need to know your medical history to see how you might be affected by it, if at all.

Since you've been on actonel for over 6 years, hopefully you've built up a good amount of bmd, so maybe that will help protect you since the drug stays in your system for quite some time. It sounds like your scores have greatly improved so hopefully fosamax will maintain that and also slow your resorption as well.

Good luck. I hope the change has great results!!

Answered by Pam Flores