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Does switching to generic anti-epileptic drugs lead to loss of seizure control

Patients with epilepsy may have a higher risk of seizures if they switch from their brand-name medication to generic anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). This is the message often heard from clinicians when expressing their concern over generic versions of narrow therapeutic index (NTI) drugs, one class of which is those used to manage the symptoms of epilepsy.

Switching from a brand-name antiepileptic drug to a generic is not associated with a higher risk of seizures

A report in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics provides further evidence that patients with epilepsy do not have a higher risk of seizures if they switch from their brand-name anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) to the generic version [1].

How successful is the reference pricing system in Belgium

The main aim of a reference pricing system (RPS) is to provide generic medicines at the lowest cost to the state and individuals. This article explains how RPSs work and asks how the Belgian system might be improved to better fulfil its main objective.

Benefits of generics called into question

The benefits associated with generic prescription drugs have been called into question in an article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) [1].

Epilepsy: medical concerns of prescribing generics

Generic economics

Generic medications are generally cheaper than their branded product counterparts and so prescribing these is encouraged as a cost-containment strategy in the management of healthcare resources. Encouraging the use of generic drugs is widely considered to be the most simple and effective way of reducing medication expenditure.

Perception of generic drugs as fake among Pakistani immigrants

Pakistani immigrants in Norway may confuse generic drugs with counterfeit drugs, according to research carried out by Norwegian researchers [1].

Generic warfarin as safe and effective as brand name

In a literature study by Dr Francesco Dentali and colleagues found that generic warfarin was as safe as brand name warfarin (Coumadin) [1].

Pakistani immigrants may confuse generics with counterfeit drugs

A study by Norwegian researchers showed that generics substitution may lead to lack of compliance in Pakistani immigrants in Norway, due to misconceptions and confusion with counterfeit drugs [1].

Influence these two factors and the use of generics will increase

According to Assistant Professor William Shrank of Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, we may be able to increase the use of generic alternatives over brand-name medications if we influence the following two factors: communication about generics between patients and their physicians or pharmacists and the patients’ comfort with generic substitution.

Factors that influence generic drug use

Increasing efforts to influence both the prescriber and patient factors involved in determining the type of initial prescription may benefit everyone involved in paying for medications to get the most cost-effective treatment for their condition.

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