Op-Ed: Generics aren't always equal

Now here's an op-ed Big Pharma can unite behind. In the Baltimore Sun, journalist and patient Naomi Wax assails the FDA for calling generic drugs exactly equivalent to their brand-name counterparts. After all, the generics may have the same active ingredients, but they often have different fillers, binders, colorings, etc. They may use different delivery systems. And formulas vary from one generics company to the next.

The variances can cause reactions in some patients, Wax says, citing her own experience with generic Zoloft (sertraline); she did well on one company's version, but not another's. She also recounts a litany of complaints from users of Wellbutrin XL generics, which seemed to time-release in a different way from the branded form; those complaints were passed along to the FDA by health columnists Joe and Terry Graedon. The agency has yet to respond.

The problem, Wax says, is that docs, the FDA, and generics companies all pooh-pooh these complaints; if everyone in healthcare simply acknowledged that generics can be different, those differences might be managed.

- read Wax's column in the Sun

Related Articles:
Analysts get bullish on generics makers. Report
Switching to generic statins not so healthy. Report
Pharma faces "tidal wave" of generics. Report