Rebecca Fox helps answer questions about the differences between brand and generic drugs.
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Rebecca Fox: When you ask Robin McCraw how many prescriptions she picks up on a regular basis, you might have to wait a minute. And will cost this a factor, McCraw says that’s not her main medication concerned, it’s safety. Robin McCraw: I’ll call our family drug sensitive. Rebecca Fox: So sensitive, McCraw sticks with brand name drugs, even when a generic is available. Robin McCraw: We try them and they either have no effect, little effect or we can go the other side of the game completely which is they can have a very rare reaction. Rebecca Fox: Her youngest son had what doctors call a 2% reaction to a generic over the counter cold medication when he was an infant but the McCraw family is an exception to the rule. The US Food Drug Administration says the generic drug is the identical or bioequivalent to a brand name in certain aspects. Those aspects include form, safety, strength, right of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use. Even so Pharmacist Deborah DaPore says she still sees people who think generics don’t work as well as the brand names. Deborah DaPore: They tell themselves it’s not going to work as well so it doesn’t work as well but it really does. Rebecca Fox: The FTA says what maybe different between the brand name drug in its generic counterpart are the colors, flavors, and certain matter in active ingredients. Deborah DaPore: That may react in somebody’s metabolism differently but in my experience most people don’t have a better problem taking up as a generic drug. Rebecca Fox: Good things are folks like CJ Porter who watch their wallets closely. CJ Porter: I stay at home mom so it depends where you can punch and you save where you can save medication doctors visits they’re not really expensive so if I can save an $80.00 to get a generic it’s going to be the same exact thing that’s what I ‘m going to go for. Rebecca Fox: DaPore says that’s what most people go for. Deborah DaPore: So if the generic is available they are right there ready to take it, they don’t want to spend the money for the brand. Rebecca Fox: A 2008 study conducted by USA today because your family foundation in Harvard University School of Public Health down at four and ten people with incomes less than $25,000.00 reported not filling the prescription in the past two years because of cost. Pharmacist: The brand name would be a $114.89 and the generic is $16.14.\ Rebecca Fox: This pharmacist, says her customers are often particularly mystified when they learned of the price difference between generics and brand names. Deborah DaPore: Probably in the last eight or nine years when it became more prevalent for insurance carriers and for employers to offer benefits to their employees and cover their drug coverage that’s when you see the tears and that’s where the formularies come in where the insurance carrier will dictate what drugs and which tear in the formulary and that’s something that’s combusting to people because they don’t understand why their co payments are different. Rebecca Fox: DaPore says if you want to save the most money on prescription drugs you have to start before you walk into a pharmacy. You have to start before you visit your doctor; you have to start with your healthcare plan. Deborah DaPore: Before your sign up for a plan you need to sit down and make a list of the drugs that you’re on, then you need to look at the plan that you’re going to sign up with and make sure that the drugs that you on are on that formulary and what the co payments will be. Rebecca Fox: For people like Porter who doesn’t have insurance, generics are her best option. On this day she saved $80.00. CJ Porter: Like I said complusary savory can save. Rebecca Fox: And for people lik McCraw generics are not an option. On this day she tries to save money by living with only part of her more costly brand name prescription. CJ Porter: We have to do what’s best for my family and myself so— Rebecca Fox: So with the drugs wor