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Generic Drugs Offer Quality, Value

Your pharmacist offers you a choice between a brand-name medication and its generic equivalent. In most situations, the only difference is a lower price. (Mayo Clinic Health Letter, Jan-2002)

http://www.newswise.com/articles/2001/12/GENERIC.MMC.html

25-Dec-01
Mayo Clinic
Shelly Plutowski

ROCHESTER, MINN. -- Your pharmacist offers you a choice between a brand-name medication and its generic equivalent. In most situations, the only difference is a lower price, according to the January issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Here are some facts about generic medications:

Quality: Generic drugs are required by the Food and Drug Administration to have the same quality, strength, purity and stability as their brand-name counterparts.

Effectiveness: Generic drugs deliver the same amount of active ingredients in the same amount of time as the original brand-name drugs.

Side effects: The FDA monitors reports of adverse drug reactions and has found no difference between generic and brand-name drugs.

Manufacturing: The FDA conducts thousands of inspections annually to ensure that the manufacturing facilities for all drug makers meet specific standards. (About half of all generic drugs are produced by brand-name firms that make copies of their own or other brand-name drugs.)

Even though generic drugs are the bioequivalent to their brand-name counterparts, it's still a good idea to check with your doctor before switching. Certain drugs need to be maintained within narrow levels in your blood to avoid toxic side effects. These include some medications for epilepsy, heart rhythm regulation, lung disease, thyroid disorders and blood thinning. Changes in these medications are best done in close consultation with your physician.

Shelly Plutowski
507-284-5005 (days)
507-284-2511 (evenings)

Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page, monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today's health and medical news. To subscribe, please call toll-free 800-333-9037, extension 9PR1.
 

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