More than 30 name-brand drugs expected to go generic in the next year
Keeping yourself healthy isn't cheap. As YNN's Chris Whalen explains, those looking to tighten their belts may be able to do so on their prescription drugs, as nearly three dozen name brands are about to go generic.
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NATIONWIDE -- Modern medicine can work miracles. It cures diseases that would have killed a patient in the past, it prevents illnesses before they start and it also costs an arm and a leg.
"It's probably between 150 and 200 (dollars), it's pretty expensive for brand name," said Nicole Chudacik, a pharmacist at Lourdes Hospital.
That's just for a one month supply of one prescription drug. The cost of medicine can easily be thousands of dollars a year.
But within in the next 18 months, patients could see some relief at the register as nearly three dozen name-brand drugs, such as Lipitor, Plavix, and Singulair, are expected to go generic.
Since those generics have yet to come out, pharmacists don't know exactly what the cost savings will be, but one thing is for sure: they'll be cheaper, and over time, they'll continue to get cheaper and cheaper.
"When the drugs first become available, there's not as much competition, there's not as many companies that are making it, so it usually is more expensive, and then slowly over time, it gets much and much cheaper," Chudacik said.
Doctors agree that generics will save patients money, and while they say the drugs are essentially the same, they don't always recommend taking the cheaper alternative.
"Certain disease states will call for something of a branded-type medicine because you'll need something that is more efficacious or there may be a tolerability issue," said Dr. Sanjiv Patel, a Lourdes physician.
But if the situation allows, doctors will more often than not prescribe drugs that won't break the bank.
"When you have a patient that's on a limited income, obviously, you want to go with the generics first if it seems to do the job and do the job well, then we'd obviously prefer that agent versus the branded agent."
A decision that can lead to a healthy body, mind and wallet.
For a complete list of name-brand drugs expected to go generic by the end of 2012, visit www.medcohealth.com/art/corporate/anticipatedfirsttime_generics.pdf.