Navigation Links
Generic Heart Drugs as Good as Brand-Name Counterparts

Review found most were as effective, despite editorials urging opposite

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Brand-name drugs used to treat cardiovascular disease are no better than generics, a new review of available evidence shows.

Yet a number of editorials in medical journals, written by specialists, have urged against substituting the less expensive generics for their designer counterparts.

"We found no evidence that brand-name drugs are any better in terms of clinical outcomes than generic drugs," said Dr. Aaron S. Kesselheim, lead author of a study appearing in the Dec. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association and an instructor in medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "The FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] has approved all generic drugs and certifies that they are bioequivalent, meaning equivalent in all biological and chemical characteristics of the drug."

The challenge then becomes one of perception, Kesselheim said, with this new paper itself representing "hopefully another step in helping combat the misperception that brand-name drugs are clinically superior," he said.

The findings come closely on the heels of another study which found that there is often little evidence that off-label prescribing (prescribing a drug to treat a disease or condition different from the one it was approved for) is effective or safe.

Generic drugs have the same active ingredient as their brand-name counterparts, but may differ in terms of the color or shape of the pill and some of the inert binders (which are not clinically active).

The advantage to generic medications, of course, is that they cost substantially less.

The developers of drugs are permitted to exclusively market the drug for a finite period of time after its approval, at least partly to recoup the costs of developing the medication. After that time, however, other manufacturers may produce the same drug as a generic.

"There are a number of studies out there saying that generic drugs should be an important part of a physicians prescribing treatment, that they're able to reduce costs and improve patient adherence which can lead to better patient outcomes," Kesselheim said. "Generic drugs are available for nearly every condition but generally are underused in the marketplace, and one of the reasons they're underused is that there is a perception out there among physicians and patients that brand-name drugs are better than generic drugs."

Kesselheim and his colleagues decided to investigate the data to see if brand-name drugs really were superior.

They searched for articles comparing the clinical efficacy of brand-name and generic cardiovascular drugs published between January 1984 and August 2008.

All of the studies involving beta blockers, antiplatelet agents, statins, ACE inhibitors and alpha-blockers showed clinical equivalence, while 91 percent of randomized controlled trials showed clinical equivalence for diuretics, and 71 percent showed the same for calcium-channel blockers.

Yet 53 percent of 43 editorials had a negative take on substituting generic drugs.

"We found no evidence that a brand-name drug is clinically superior," Kesselheim said.

Almost half of the trials and nearly all of the editorial and commentaries failed to identify funding sources.

"The key is, are the drugs therapeutically equivalent. In other words, do you get the same result," said Robert Stanberry, an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy at Kingsville. "I would tend to agree, that's mostly true."

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more on generic drugs.

SOURCES: Aaron S. Kesselheim, M.D., J.D., instructor, medicine, division of pharmacoepidemiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Robert Stanberry, J.D., Pharm.D., assistant professor, pharmacy practice, Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy at Kingsville; Dec. 3, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. GPhAs 2007 Annual Policy Conference Features Top Generic Industry CEOs; FDA, Government Officials; Wall Street Analysts
2. Mylan Commences Tender Offers and Consent Solicitations for Its 5.750% Senior Notes Due 2010 and 6.375% Senior Notes Due 2015 in Connection With Its Proposed Acquisition of Mercks Generic Pharmaceutical Business
3. Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Ltd. Announces FDA Approval to Market Generic Version of Zyloprim(R)
4. Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Ltd. Announces FDA Approval to Market Generic Version of Adipex-P(R)
5. Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Ltd. Announces FDA Approval to Market Generic Version of Coreg(R)
6. Generic prostate drug helps find high-risk cancers early
7. Perrigo Confirms Filing for Generic Version of Mucinex(R) and Announcement of Lawsuit by Adams Respiratory
8. Mylan Vice Chairman and CEO Robert J. Coury to Ring NYSE Closing Bell(R) in Celebration of Merck Generics Acquisition
9. FDA Announces Initiative to Bolster Generic Drug Program
10. FDA Struggles to Keep Pace With Requests for Generics
11. Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories Ltd. Announces Tentative FDA Approval for Generic Zyrtec Chewable(R)
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Generic Heart Drugs as Good as Brand-Name Counterparts
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... 1Heart Caregiver Services’ Executive Team ... of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce held from November 6-8, 2015 at the ... Services, as an active delegate from the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Being a caregiver for someone you love ... Care System, the Caregiver Support Program promotes the health and wellbeing of family ... percent report that their role as a caregiver has created marital strain,” said ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Foundation) released information for caregivers and held two webinars on topics of ‘Medical ... demand free of charge at . , With a loved one's ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... According to research by the National Association of Dental ... certified or obtain continuing education. To increase awareness of the lack of standards ... inform dentists that the technicians they trust could lack the skills and knowledge ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... An extensive directory ... specialized and only includes chiropractic clinics in the US. , The team at ... health practitioner when back pain sets in. When people are experiencing back and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  Lexicon ... today that top-line data from its TELECAST ... etiprate in treating carcinoid syndrome in cancer ... the clinical benefit observed in its pivotal ... as a companion to TELESTAR primarily to ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 North America ... with analysis and forecast of revenue. --> ... segments the concerned market with analysis and forecast of ... Report "North American Orthobiologics Market by Type (Bone Allograft, ... Stem Cell Therapy, Viscosupplementation), by End-User (Hospitals, Point-of-Care Testing) ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Shigella ... Innovative Technologies, Competitive Strategies, Emerging Opportunities--US, ... Japan"  report to their offering. ... the addition of the  "2016 Shigella ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: