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Should generic drugs be compulsory in health care ?

Northtipp

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I see the troika are putting on pressure in relation to the health service and have zoned in on the use of generic drugs. That does seem sensible to me. I am no expert, that's for sure, but I understand there can be quite substantial differences between the original brand drug and the generic spin offs. With that in mind and in an attempt to save costs should we make it compulsory to use the less expensive generic drug in any Heath care scenario, wether that be prescriptions, hospitals etc. Of course there are laws which mean the original brand cannot be substituted but that is only for a limited period of time . Beyond that the generic drug is a real and viable option.

Now the med reps won't be happy but if we are going to save money shouldn't this be considered. Let's take the vested interests out of if and lets really save money that doesn't hit our own people but rather multi national companies.
 


Bobcolebrooke

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Generic drugs only become available when the original patent owners drugs come off patent.

Do you propose excluding all drugs that are within patent from the consumers of the Health Service?
 

Northtipp

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Generic drugs only become available when the original patent owners drugs come off patent.

Do you propose excluding all drugs that are within patent from the consumers of the Health Service?
No I referred to that in my OP. I am referring to drugs out of patent. Apologies if I wasn't clear.
 
D

Dylan2010

might be a good start to close down the Irish medicine board. A good example of regulation screwing the customer for little or no benefit.
 

Bobcolebrooke

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No I referred to that in my OP. I am referring to drugs out of patent. Apologies if I wasn't clear.
How much money do you believe is spent in the current year by the HSE on non generic drugs which have generic alternatives?

Do you have a figure?
 

teapot

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I started getting generic drugs (outside Ireland) over 25yrs ago - it was a contractual agreement done to lower prescription drug costs. They said it worked.
When I came to Ireland I was struck by the volume of 'under patent' drugs being prescribed; used to wonder why they didn't go generic (when and if they could re patent dates, etc) and put it down to the old nudge-nudge-wink-wink back-scratching way of operating the Health Service by the FF/PD lot and who was getting rich off it.

I personally have no problem with accepting a generic substitute for a prescription drug where it is legally available... I used to wonder about gastro-resistant apirins, for example. The ones I get now come from UK. Previously they were labelled as coming from UK and then being re-labelled as being re-packed by some outfit in outer Donegal and used to wonder just who owned that enterprise??? (and why they couldn't have been purchased direct in the first place) Unless that's an old established way of doing business (and one of the reasons behind 'the high cost of doing business in Ireland')
 

harshreality

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Oct 14, 2011
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I see the troika are putting on pressure in relation to the health service and have zoned in on the use of generic drugs. That does seem sensible to me. I am no expert, that's for sure, but I understand there can be quite substantial differences between the original brand drug and the generic spin offs. With that in mind and in an attempt to save costs should we make it compulsory to use the less expensive generic drug in any Heath care scenario, wether that be prescriptions, hospitals etc. Of course there are laws which mean the original brand cannot be substituted but that is only for a limited period of time . Beyond that the generic drug is a real and viable option.

Now the med reps won't be happy but if we are going to save money shouldn't this be considered. Let's take the vested interests out of if and lets really save money that doesn't hit our own people but rather multi national companies.
Yes of course!

If the same results can be achieved at a reduced cost then I fail to see the problem. Can't figure out why this is only being raised now!
 

chef35

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Oct 20, 2012
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With vested interest taken out of it there is no reason why, and at the moment they are being used, this would free up monies for more expensive treatments (eg. new cancer treatments), also there are a lot of very effective generic drugs which have been ignored over the years despite being as or more effective treatments, quite simply because they are out of patent and not being marketed aggressively.
 

ManOfReason

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If doctors have to be forced into taking this common sense step then shame on them for not doing it already when the two drugs are identical.
 

harshreality

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Can anyone tell us how much or little is spent on non generic drugs that are not out of patent?
I think that would be quite difficult to obtain an accurate figure for that and I also think that the figure would be quite frightening.
 

ManOfReason

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Can anyone tell us how much or little is spent on non generic drugs that are not out of patent?
Don't have a precise figure, and I guess it would be hard to get an exact one, but the EU report states:

spending on pharmaceuticals in Ireland is the highest in the EU at 34% above average "while health outcomes are not better than the average for EU countries over a range of high level indicators.
Troika seeks strict rules to lower drug costs - RTÉ News
 

vanla sighs

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Generic drugs aren't always as cheap compared to branded drugs as we seem to think. For example the branded asthma medication (inhaler) Ventolin costs about €8.70 and a generic version costs about 30c less.......crazy.
 

Bobcolebrooke

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Generic drugs aren't always as cheap compared to branded drugs as we seem to think. For example the branded asthma medication (inhaler) Ventolin costs about €8.70 and a generic version costs about 30c less.......crazy.


When manufacturers face competition their volume decreases and they are forced to compete with competitors. Patent periods facilitate development costs to be recovered.

Many illnesses can be treated by different drugs. In many cases newer drugs are more effective than other drugs which have come off patent and are available generically.

Are clinicians to be prevented from prescribing more effective drugs?
 

vanla sighs

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I fully support the use of generic drugs with the same active ingredients as in branded, trademarked drugs but the State needs to make sure it's getting a good deal on generics, a 30c difference doesn't sound like a good deal to me.
 

Northtipp

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I fully support the use of generic drugs with the same active ingredients as in branded, trademarked drugs but the State needs to make sure it's getting a good deal on generics, a 30c difference doesn't sound like a good deal to me.
There appear to be greater variances on differing drugs. Mind you if they saved 30 cent on every inhaler used in the health service or handed out on prescription it would still be a saving which would help in a game of inches.
 

Tawdy

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Sep 4, 2011
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I fully support the use of generic drugs with the same active ingredients as in branded, trademarked drugs but the State needs to make sure it's getting a good deal on generics, a 30c difference doesn't sound like a good deal to me.


This is the main problem. The active ingredients in the generic drugs are almost all at varience with the original drugs. One of the main reasons why you should ask your GP about any generic drug you may be considering. Some, I repeat, some of the active ingredients do not agree with people and do indeed cause adverse reactions, in the generic drug. Always consult with your GP first.

That being said I`m on a generic cholestral drug called Atorvastatin once known as Lipitor. This is prescribed by my Doctor.
 

Sister Mercedes

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I pay huge premiums for my medical insurance in the US, yet it is a condition of my policy that I must use Generic Drugs if they are available. If I don't like it, then I must pay for the Medication myself.

Of course Generics should be Mandatory in State Funded HealthCare. They're exactly the same as the Branded Drugs.
 

4horsemen

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When manufacturers face competition their volume decreases and they are forced to compete with competitors. Patent periods facilitate development costs to be recovered.

Many illnesses can be treated by different drugs. In many cases newer drugs are more effective than other drugs which have come off patent and are available generically.

Are clinicians to be prevented from prescribing more effective drugs?

Is there consistency among GP's on the most effective drugs to prescribe? Is this based on objective assessments or are there significant brand pressures and incentives from itinerant drug reps?
 

slippy wicket

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Mar 10, 2010
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As an example, recently our pharmacist swapped some of my mum and dads pills over to generic ones, dropping their monthly charge from 140 give or take to 100 now.
A smart and decent chemist is all you need.
 


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