Epilepsy Talk

Hello Generics, Goodbye Big-Name Drugs | October 25, 2011

From NPR 05:22 am October 24, 2011 by FRED MOGUL

Some of the most popular and expensive brand-name drugs are about to go generic.

Take Lipitor, for example. In November, the heart drug comes off-patent — and by next June, there are likely to be multiple generic versions.

With almost $11 billion in sales last year, it’s the largest blockbuster to fall off what analysts call the “patent cliff.” And it’s just one of dozens of popular high-end pharmaceuticals whose prices are expected to plummet in the coming years, including drugs like Plavix (for heart disease), Seroquel (used to treat depression) and Nexium (for digestive problems.)

Patients often pay more for name-brand drugs, even when they’re covered by insurance. Sometimes they have no choice because — unlike Lipitor — many drugs don’t yet have generic competition.

And there are dozens of big-name drugs that are about to join the generic train…

Good news or bad news?  Read on:


Another articles of interest: 

Prescription Switching. Do You Know What You’re REALLY Getting?


Biotech Firms, Billions at Risk, Lobby States to Limit Generics


To subscribe to Epilepsytalk.com and get the latest articles, go to the bottom box of the right column and click on “Sign me up!”


  1. Lipitor is for Heart problems?

    My Doctor(in Ca) prescribed it to me for High Cholesterol.
    In less than a week I dropped it because every joint in my body was aching like someone hit me with a baseball bat.


    Comment by mkfarnam — October 25, 2011 @ 2:35 PM

    • Lipitor seems to be for everything. 😦

      I was also prescribed 10mg for all-over heart, cholesterol “problems”.

      But the best is my walking partner. She went to the doc hale and healthy for a yearly check-up and was prescribed 40 mg. of Lipitor. Can you say “on the take?”


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 25, 2011 @ 3:15 PM

  2. I’ve been taking the generic for Dilantin, Phenytoin, for decades now and it works just as good.
    The ones that will be paying less are those without health insurance because,at least with Medicare, the premium stays the same.

    As long as the generic works like the name brand, I’d say it’s good.
    But being as skeptical as I am, some where along the line there will be a downside to it.
    Like, generic generic. new side effects will come with them.
    I hope I’m wrong.

    But then again, isn’t it a law that the patient gets to make the final decision?


    Comment by mkfarnam — October 25, 2011 @ 3:01 PM

  3. 1. Medicare is just thrilled. It’s already reduced their costs considerably.

    2. Only 20-30% of the actual drug compound is in the generic. They can put whatever they want in the rest. (That being said, I’m on the generic for both Lamictal and Klonopin + Xanax.)

    3. The patient gets to make the final decision if they can afford it. I have a friend who has serious heart problems and who financially misses Medicaid by $12 a month. Her monthly for one drug is over $200. So, to have another heart attack or too eat? I know it sounds pretty harsh but that is the reality for many people.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 25, 2011 @ 3:22 PM

    • if your on MEDICARE like myself, why dont you switch to HUMANA1-866-205-0000, with their mail-in pharmacy/RIGHTSOURCE. All of my drugs(5) are covered,


      Comment by dolores — November 13, 2011 @ 1:47 AM

      • Delores, You might also try…

        Rxhope.com: A patient assistance company partially funded by the pharmaceutical manufacturers. It promises to speed requests for no-cost medications. The website includes information on which medicines are covered by assistance programs. http://www.rxhope.com/

        RxSavingsPlus: A free drug/prescription discount card, to help lower the price for medication. It can be used at CVS Pharmacy, Target, Rite Aid and 60,000 participating pharmacies nationwide. http://www.rxsavingsplus.com/en/default.aspx


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 13, 2011 @ 2:32 PM

  4. I have always been on generic Phenobarbital. 20+ yrs. If pharmacist switched brands I never knew it. Course, this has only been a major discussion/topic for a yr or 2. 🙂 I really need to discuss it w/ my Pharmacist.

    From what I have read this is Bad news for PPL w/ Epilepsy. Changing from brand to generic or vice versus or Pharmacies changing drug Manufacturers can affect our seizure status. 😦

    What to do? Tell your DR you want a Generic AED that works for your type of seizure disorder & if it Works for you follow thru w/ a form letter to your pharmacist ( I believe Phylis posted one in another Article?) requesting Warning of Any Change in AED’s &/or other meds or Drug Manufacturers.

    I dread the day I Have to get back on the med merrygoround. 😦 I Know my days on this med are Numbered.


    Comment by candi — October 28, 2011 @ 3:16 PM

  5. It’s funny that I didn’t remember this earlier, but:

    Before I moved to Oklahoma from California I went and got copies of all my Medical records.
    I also(verbally) requested a written note from my Neurologist saying to keep me on the same dose of Dilantin because I was stabile and it kept my seizures under control.
    I (personally) ask him to make a NOTE:(on record) that “this was NOT to be changed unless otherwise noted by the patient.

    Phylis. This is why I was so pissed off when this (new) Dr, tried to up and raise my dose with out a single test.

    I have mentioned in other posts that I hadn’t seen a Nuerologist for 10-20 years.
    But that’s not true, I had a Nuero 5 years ago in Ca.
    I guess I looked at him as a famly Dr, and not what he actually was, a Nuerologist.


    Comment by mkfarnam — October 28, 2011 @ 4:53 PM

    • So, what kind of doctor is the new doc and what qualifies him to raise your dose? (Especially without even something as simple as bloodwork.)


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 28, 2011 @ 6:01 PM

      • I’ve mentioned this to you before.
        She a Peditrician, a clinic Dr. who had her assistant call me a tell me to raise my Dilantin dose be cause it was too low. I told the assis, to tell the Dr. that this dose was working fine and I didn’t care what the dr’s opinion was, my dose was staying the way it is.

        She’s also the one who sent me to have a MRI on my hip and a year later I received results on my wrist and elbow.


        Comment by mkfarnam — October 28, 2011 @ 7:33 PM

  6. Aren’t you a little old for a pediatrician? 😉


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 28, 2011 @ 8:08 PM

    • OK, maybe she’s not a Pediatrician. All I know is that she has CNP behind her name.


      Comment by mkfarnam — October 28, 2011 @ 10:37 PM

  7. I think that means Certified Nurse Practitioner. So, she’s NOT a full-fledged Doctor.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 29, 2011 @ 2:16 PM

    • “Practitioner” was the name I was looking for..
      This is a small town, so many others
      I forgot that a Pediatricians were
      Infant(ry) medics.lol!


      Comment by mkfarnam — October 29, 2011 @ 3:17 PM

      • (from last post)

        This is a small town, so many others got to Her clinic. I’m not the only one that feels this way about her.


        Comment by mkfarnam — October 29, 2011 @ 3:21 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

    View Full Profile →

    Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive free notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 3,266 other subscribers
    Follow Epilepsy Talk on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: