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Effectiveness of generic and originator gabapentin in lower back pain

Researchers from the Chulalongkorn University and the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, carried out a study to compare the effectiveness of generic gabapentin Sandoz compared to originator gabapentin (Neurontin) [1].

Comparison of generic and originator gabapentin

The cost of treatment for patients with neuropathic lower back pain is higher than those with non-neuropathic lower back pain. Originator gabapentin (Neurontin), an anticonvulsant, the efficacy has been proven for pain improvement among patients with neuropathic pain. In Thailand, gabapentin has usually been prescribed for patients having chronic back pain associated with lumbar radiculopathy, however, the high cost of originator gabapentin (Neurontin) has been found to be a problem for patients. Although generic gabapentin has recently been launched in Thailand, there is limited clinical evidence to prove its effectiveness compared to the originator.

Generics utilization policies necessary to sustain Medicaid

A review of the history and expansion of generics utilization policies and their critical role in the US Medicaid system in an era of reduced budgets concluded that such policies are a necessary component for preservation of the Medicaid system [1].

Potential savings of Euros 72 million with more generics use in three therapeutic areas

A nationwide cohort study in Austria reported that substituting branded medications with drugs containing the same active ingredients (generics) could save considerable amounts of money. A study at the Center for Medical Statistics, Informatics and Intelligent Systems (CeMSIIS) at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, in cooperation with the Main Association of Austrian Social Security Institutions, has calculated the potential savings from generic medications used in the treatment of common conditions such as hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and diabetes mellitus. The potential annual financial savings for health insurance companies stand at around 18 per cent, equating to tens of millions of Euros [1].

Poor generics awareness among physicians in Saudi Arabia

A study looking at physicians’ knowledge, opinions and attitudes towards prescribing local generics in Saudi Arabia concludes that poor knowledge of local generics among consultant physicians working in government hospitals lies behind low prescription rates.

Substitution and adherence to antidiabetic generics in the elderly

When pharmacists switch from brand-name to generic drugs or between the same generics made by different manufacturers, this is thought may affect patient adherence to their medication. Therefore, Trotta and co-authors carried out a study to quantify the extent of switches between generic antidiabetics and to verify whether switching between different products of the same substance affects adherence [1].

Generics versus brand-name drugs

Is there a benefit to prescribing brand-name drugs versus prescribing generics? The answer appears to be no, according to evidence collected by researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada [1].

Irish doctors’ attitudes towards generics

In June 2013, Ireland signed a new Act into law [the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013] paving the way for generics substitution and reference pricing for the first time in that market. As a consequence of the new legislation, Irish patients became more likely than ever to encounter generics.

Patient perceptions of generics in Ireland

In an attempt to benefit from the cost savings associated with use of generics, in June 2013 the Irish Government introduced generics substitution and reference pricing for the first time via the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act. However, as perceptions of Irish patients towards generics have not been published previously, the objective of this study was to assess how generics were perceived amongst patients in the Irish health system [1].

Canada’s generics are too expensive

The same generics cost more in Canada than they do in similarly developed countries. In response to this, the premiers of each Canadian province recently agreed to lower the price of six expensive generics (amlodipine, atorvastatin, omeprazole, rabeprazole, ramipril and venlafaxine), setting reimbursement prices at 18% of the originator’s price. But this will still leave Canada out of line with other countries, including New Zealand, the UK and the US, say researchers at the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.