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Brand-name drugs are not more effective than generic versions for treating cardiovascular disease Posted 14/09/2009

A recent review in Evidence-Based Medicine by Dr Braden Manns of the University of Calgary in Canada studies the question whether generic drugs are as effective as brand-name drugs for treating cardiovascular disease.

In the review studies are included that compared one brand-name drug with one generic version for treating cardiovascular disease, i.e. any condition affecting the heart or blood vessels; and reported one clinical efficacy or safety endpoint. Biological products were excluded. Outcomes included vital signs (e.g. blood pressure, heart rate, and urine output), clinical laboratory studies (e.g. international normalised ratio, low-density lipoprotein, and urine electrolytes), patient morbidity or mortality, and health system use.

To this end, MEDLINE, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1984 to Aug 2008) were searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies published in English. Case studies, qualitative analyses, pharmacoeconomic evaluations, and surveys were excluded. Forty-seven studies (38 RCTs) were included. RCT quality was assessed using the Jadad scale (range 0–5, mean 2.4). RCTs with data on means and standard deviations were included in a meta-analysis. Equivalence was found based on the outcomes and it was concluded that brand-name drugs are not more effective than generic versions for treating cardiovascular disease.

Source: Manns B. Review: brand-name drugs are not more effective than generic versions for treating cardiovascular disease. Evid Based Med. 2009 Jun;14(3):81.

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