Yes, there are differences between brand name migraine drugs and generic migraine drugs. And those differences might make all the difference.
Last week he wrote a little more about his patients’ experiences with brand name and generic medications.
This is not necessarily about brand name manufacturers wanting to make you pay for their products (although I’m sure they do want that – can you blame them?). The fact of the matter is, due to differing manufacturing processes, differing ingredients, and differing policies from country to country, brand name meds can be slightly different from the generics. And slightly may be all that is needed between “it works” and “it doesn’t work”.
Dr. Mauskop shares some wise advice in his post, which you can read here:
I have also seen this with sumatriptan – my patients tell me that some generics do not work very well or at all. Out of about 10 generics of sumatriptan, I would guess that two are of poor quality. Once you find a generic that works for you, try to stick with the same generic manufacturer. The name of the manufacturer is printed on the bottle the pharmacy gives you. If one pharmacy does not have your generic, try another one.
He goes on to share a note from a patient dealing with pharmacies and changing availability of medications.
Of course, this involves pharmacies, drug companies, and insurance companies (oh, patients too!). One change anywhere along the line, and something that worked well for you can disappear.
If you run into trouble, share these posts with those you’re talking to, so they’re aware of the issue. Again, many times it may make no difference, but sometimes it will.
The most frustrating part of this story is that there are surely patients out there who have tried a triptan, and have given up on it, even though the very same triptan of a different brand might work.
So it may be worth your while to not only try different triptans (yes, one may work well when another doesn’t work at all), but try different brands of the the same triptan. And of course this goes for other medications too, like Topamax (topiramate) and whatever you may be trying.
Pharmacies and insurance companies need to understand that this isn’t just hype – in some cases the difference is very important. How can you in the industry better serve your patients?