Meds and you

16 November 2009

What you need to know

Before you start, remember that you should always talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find out whether generics are right for you.

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Before you start, remember that you should always talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find out whether generics are right for you.

When the pain reliever paracetamol was launched in South Africa it was only available under the Panado® brand-name. Today paracetamol can be found in many generic versions including Napamol, at a fraction of the cost.

Similarly, many drug products, prescription and over-the-counter, have generic versions available. Bisolvon Linctus DA, one of the most widely prescribed cough mixtures in South Africa, is available in many generic forms, including Adco-Linctopent; while the anti-inflammatory Voltaren has literally tens of generics, including, among others, Adco-Diclofnac, Dicloflam and Panamor.

An estimated 44% of all prescriptions are currently filled with generic equivalents.

References:

  • United States Food and Drug Administration. Generic drugs: what you need to know. [online] 2002 [cited 2007 Jul 09]. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2002/502_generic.html
  • United States Food and Drug Administration. Savings from generic drugs purchased at retail pharmacies. [online] 2004 [cited 2007 Jul 09]. Available at http://www.fda.gov/cder/consumerinfo/savingsfromgenericdrugs.htm
  • United States Food and Drug Adminstration: Office of Generic Drugs. [online] 2007 [cited 2007 Jul 09]. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ogd/
  • SA Medicines Control Council. Guidelines on generic substitution. Government Gazette 2003;25145:183-5.

 

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