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Patient Advocacy Group Distributes Wallet Cards to Help Protect Patients from Medication Switching
Date:5/12/2010

ATLANTA, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia is taking steps to arm Georgians with a tool to help manage their health care. The Georgia House voted unanimously to pass HB194 last week and, once signed by the Governor, will require Georgia pharmacies to indicate on the medication bottle if there has been a brand to generic switch.  This is great news for Georgians, and a great "first step" in consumer protection. The Epilepsy Foundation wallet cards will help Georgians remember questions to ask about their prescription drugs the next time they visit their local pharmacy, potentially saving lives.

(Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100512/NE03699 )

This new aid was developed in response to a growing trend by insurance companies called "therapeutic substitution." The Atlanta Journal Constitution's "Dr. H" recently wrote, "While therapeutic substitution seems a violation of a patient's right, the reality is that this practice is here to stay because the powers that dictate health care believe it saves money." (AJC Health Blog Q&A with Dr. H (3/16/2010)).

The wallet card provides tips on how your doctor can help avoid a medication change without your knowledge – like writing "brand necessary" on the prescription. And, the card has important questions to ask the pharmacist when presented with the option to switch their prescription to a different medication. "Many times the practice of drug switching happens at the pharmacy counter an
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SOURCE Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia
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