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(Slate)   If you buy brand-name painkillers instead of generics, this article will give you a headache   (slate.com) divider line 73
    More: Interesting, Americans, TPM Media, Advil, moral of the story, Matthew Yglesias, income families, baking sodas, painkillers  
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10102 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jun 2013 at 11:00 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-28 09:04:56 PM  
Do you have any Tylenol in your house? Not store-brand acetaminophen pills that you happen to refer to as Tylenol, but the real-deal Tylenol manufactured by Johnson & Johnson? How about Advil or Bayer aspirin? If you're a doctor, a nurse, or a pharmacist, the answer is probably no. If the answer is yes, you're wasting your money. And that's what an awful lot of us are doing, according to intriguing new research from the University of Chicago Business School into the strange economic underworld of pure branding effects.

The author misspelled 'restatement of the screamingly obvious'. 1955 called, and they want their 'news' back.
 
2013-06-28 09:20:49 PM  
However, generics companies have far more protection from lawsuits than do name brands.
 
2013-06-28 09:31:26 PM  
I don't know about things like Advil and Tylenol, but I know there is a definite difference between some prescription drugs and their generic versions. And there's even a difference between generics from different manufacturers. The generic medication I take is much less effective than the brand name, with more side effects. And sometimes I'll be sent pills manufactured by different companies (in places like Mumbai) that vary greatly from one to the other. So, if I wasn't getting them through an insurance plan, and had unlimited resources to pay for the brand name, I'd get the real thing.
 
2013-06-28 09:38:08 PM  
While in general I use generics (because they're cheaper and it's the same active ingredient), there are specific cases where the generic version just doesn't work the same way. I have a "name brand only" note on my prescription because I have some weird side effects with the generic version that I don't have with the name brand.

Of course every time my "normal" pharmacist isn't there the new one tries to give me the generic. I'd think part of filling a prescription would be reading the whole thing first, but apparently not.
 
2013-06-28 09:49:29 PM  

propasaurus: And there's even a difference between generics from different manufacturers.


Yep, if you've ever bought store brand Omeprazole (Prilosec), then you know what I'm talking about. Kroger and Walgreen's brands suck. It's like they contain no Omeprazole in them at all. After two days of taking them, my acid reflux comes back.

As far as aspirin and acetaminophen are concerned, I buy the huge bottle of the generic stuff.
 
2013-06-28 10:39:52 PM  
I buy Advil instead of generic ibuprofen because the name brand comes with delicious candy coating that reminds me of the long-lost light brown M&Ms.
 
2013-06-28 10:45:39 PM  
Always use generics when available. Never has any issues with them.
 
2013-06-28 11:06:34 PM  
Occasionally you'll see a story in the news about a generic that's less effective than the brand name drug.  But for something as old and as ubiquitous as acetaminophen?  Nahhh.

I remember I wanted to buy an OTC antihistamine once and found out that the store brand was literally four times cheaper than the name brand, for the same number of pills.  I pointed it out to the pharmacist just to see if I was missing anything.  He laughed and said, "Yeah, they're just trying to fark you."
 
2013-06-28 11:10:07 PM  
Slate.  Apply directly to the forehead.
 
2013-06-28 11:10:19 PM  
never had any issues with generics
 
2013-06-28 11:11:35 PM  
I'm another who has one prescription that has to be brand (Wellbutrin. Even the FDA made a statement last October that the generic is found to be less effective than the brand) but I buy generic for everything else, script and OTC and have not had problems.
 
2013-06-28 11:11:53 PM  
Seeing as I have probably four types of medicine in my cabinet that have been there for going on a few years now....

hang on, not sure. There's some headache stuff- actually, I think I used the last of the headache stuff, but it was generic. Not sure where it came from. There's some allergy pills- spend the extra money on Claritin, trust me. But I don't have to use that too often. I think there's some Bayer or ibuprofen in there? I know there are some Tums in there. I don't think I have any other meds at home. Maybe some anti-diarrhea pills?

Anyways, wait, what were we talking about?
 
2013-06-28 11:16:49 PM  
Generics prescription and OTC meds for us as often as possible. We aren't even loyal to a particular store brand. We've never noticed any major difference -- or at least havent been affected (knock on wood).
 
2013-06-28 11:17:12 PM  
I only take brand-name heroin
 
2013-06-28 11:17:45 PM  
Slate always gives me a headache, Subby.

/featured comment
 
Ral
2013-06-28 11:18:27 PM  

catmandu: I'm another who has one prescription that has to be brand (Wellbutrin. Even the FDA made a statement last October that the generic is found to be less effective than the brand) but I buy generic for everything else, script and OTC and have not had problems.


I wonder if that's the reason my meds seem to be decreasing in effectiveness.  I'm getting generic for Wellbutrin SR and Zoloft.
 
2013-06-28 11:21:53 PM  

whistleridge: Do you have any Tylenol in your house? Not store-brand acetaminophen pills that you happen to refer to as Tylenol, but the real-deal Tylenol manufactured by Johnson & Johnson? How about Advil or Bayer aspirin? If you're a doctor, a nurse, or a pharmacist, the answer is probably no. If the answer is yes, you're wasting your money. And that's what an awful lot of us are doing, according to intriguing new research from the University of Chicago Business School into the strange economic underworld of pure branding effects.

The author misspelled 'restatement of the screamingly obvious'. 1955 called, and they want their 'news' back.


Well, you have to careful. Sometimes you find the brand on sale cheaper than the generic as well. This is especially true with food.
 
2013-06-28 11:22:48 PM  
My rule is to stick with generic brands, except when it comes to homeopathics.
 
2013-06-28 11:23:38 PM  
Why would I want to pay $9.99 for ibuprofen when I can pay $16.99 the exact same thing?

I'm helping the economy.
 
2013-06-28 11:23:46 PM  

Therion: I buy Advil instead of generic ibuprofen because the name brand comes with delicious candy coating that reminds me of the long-lost light brown M&Ms.


This. sadly... so this.

/RIP brown m&m
 
2013-06-28 11:24:59 PM  
I've ceased clicking to any "Slate" article.  Too much blah blah for too little (or NO) info.
 
2013-06-28 11:27:09 PM  
www.wearysloth.com

Gee, I think all I got is acetylsalicylic acid, generic. See, I can get six hundred tablets of that for the same price as three hundred of a name brand. That makes good financial sense, good advice...
 
2013-06-28 11:27:54 PM  

Todd300: Therion: I buy Advil instead of generic ibuprofen because the name brand comes with delicious candy coating that reminds me of the long-lost light brown M&Ms.

This. sadly... so this.

/RIP brown m&m


Thirded.
 
2013-06-28 11:29:05 PM  

TinyFist: Seeing as I have probably four types of medicine in my cabinet that have been there for going on a few years now....

hang on, not sure. There's some headache stuff- actually, I think I used the last of the headache stuff, but it was generic. Not sure where it came from. There's some allergy pills- spend the extra money on Claritin, trust me. But I don't have to use that too often. I think there's some Bayer or ibuprofen in there? I know there are some Tums in there. I don't think I have any other meds at home. Maybe some anti-diarrhea pills?

Anyways, wait, what were we talking about?


You sound young.
/except for the last sentence.
 
2013-06-28 11:31:34 PM  
What a fascinating article. For a followup maybe they can tell us whether there are more or fewer math PhDs feeding the slot machines in Vegas than the general population.
 
2013-06-28 11:34:04 PM  
But... but... genuine Bayer aspirin!!!
 
2013-06-28 11:36:33 PM  
where's the Romero reference?

/Morton's salt is the best
//not really
 
2013-06-28 11:39:09 PM  
Generic ibuprofen makes my ulcer worse, but Advil has that extra coating that gets it past my upper GI tract. I can't take aspirin because it makes my tinnitus act up. When I was on this one antidepressant, I had to take the name brand, because there was something in the generic I was wildly allergic to (ha ha! sucks to be you, insurance company!) so my doctor had to write a special prescription specifying Name Brand Only.

[shrug] Take what works. If it's generic, go you. If not, well, that's how it is.
 
2013-06-28 11:41:48 PM  

SwiftFox: But... but... genuine Bayer aspirin!!!


MICROPARTICLES.
 
2013-06-28 11:43:54 PM  

whistleridge: Do you have any Tylenol in your house? Not store-brand acetaminophen pills that you happen to refer to as Tylenol, but the real-deal Tylenol manufactured by Johnson & Johnson? How about Advil or Bayer aspirin? If you're a doctor, a nurse, or a pharmacist, the answer is probably no. If the answer is yes, you're wasting your money. And that's what an awful lot of us are doing, according to intriguing new research from the University of Chicago Business School into the strange economic underworld of pure branding effects.

The author misspelled 'restatement of the screamingly obvious'. 1955 called, and they want their 'news' back.


The study was about purchasing habits with regard to consumer level of medical knowledge, not generic vs. brand name efficacy.
 
2013-06-28 11:46:10 PM  

PacManDreaming: propasaurus: And there's even a difference between generics from different manufacturers.

Yep, if you've ever bought store brand Omeprazole (Prilosec), then you know what I'm talking about. Kroger and Walgreen's brands suck. It's like they contain no Omeprazole in them at all. After two days of taking them, my acid reflux comes back.

As far as aspirin and acetaminophen are concerned, I buy the huge bottle of the generic stuff.


My insurance stopped covering Prilosec years ago when it went OTC. I've been using the store brand (Kroger) ever since it became available and have exactly the same results as with the brand name. As long as I take my pill once a day, I'm good to go. If I don't take that pill I end up regretting it within 18-24 hours, depending on what I eat.

I'm not saying that my anecdotal evidence is better than your anecdotal evidence. But, you might want to check with your doctor to see if another med (something in the same family) would work well for you and cost you less.
 
2013-06-28 11:49:59 PM  

TinyFist: Seeing as I have probably four types of medicine in my cabinet that have been there for going on a few years now....

hang on, not sure. There's some headache stuff- actually, I think I used the last of the headache stuff, but it was generic. Not sure where it came from. There's some allergy pills- spend the extra money on Claritin, trust me. But I don't have to use that too often. I think there's some Bayer or ibuprofen in there? I know there are some Tums in there. I don't think I have any other meds at home. Maybe some anti-diarrhea pills?

Anyways, wait, what were we talking about?


Squirrels.

/...so, Adderall or generic?
 
2013-06-28 11:53:23 PM  

Therion: I buy Advil instead of generic ibuprofen because the name brand comes with delicious candy coating that reminds me of the long-lost light brown M&Ms.


Yeah, I got hooked on the flavor way back when I had braces as a teenager.  My orthodontist gave me two Advil after every tightening.

Good times.
 
2013-06-29 12:00:46 AM  

Therion: I buy Advil instead of generic ibuprofen because the name brand comes with delicious candy coating that reminds me of the long-lost light brown M&Ms.


Yep......also my knees say the candy coating helps. I swear.
 
2013-06-29 12:01:24 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Generic ibuprofen makes my ulcer worse, but Advil has that extra coating that gets it past my upper GI tract. I can't take aspirin because it makes my tinnitus act up. When I was on this one antidepressant, I had to take the name brand, because there was something in the generic I was wildly allergic to (ha ha! sucks to be you, insurance company!) so my doctor had to write a special prescription specifying Name Brand Only.


Yeah.  While the drug is the same the packaging can vary and for a few people that matters.

In years past I was sensitive to the very common brown generic ibuprofen--it would cause as much headache as it would cure.  Name brands or generics that weren't brown were fine.
 
2013-06-29 12:02:16 AM  
I was very proud of myself years ago when I noticed that the difference between generic aspirin and Bayer was that Bayer had caffeine. A pretty useless addition since I usually took them with coffee, anyway.
 
2013-06-29 12:02:58 AM  
"advertising works" is the kind way to put it. The better way to but it is, "ignorance can be exploited." The fact is that people make decisions based upon the knowledge they had at the time the decision was made. The fact that consumers make bad decisions is not because the advertising is so good it is because the educational system is so bad.
 
2013-06-29 12:03:42 AM  
All color M&Ms taste exactly the same . . . . . I've had too many of them . . . .
 
2013-06-29 12:04:41 AM  

PacManDreaming: propasaurus: And there's even a difference between generics from different manufacturers.

Yep, if you've ever bought store brand Omeprazole (Prilosec), then you know what I'm talking about. Kroger and Walgreen's brands suck. It's like they contain no Omeprazole in them at all. After two days of taking them, my acid reflux comes back.

As far as aspirin and acetaminophen are concerned, I buy the huge bottle of the generic stuff.


I get Walmart or CVS brand omeprazole for my hiatal hernia-induced acid reflux and they work just as well as real-deal Prilosec. Those brands are manufactured in Israel for as long as I've been taking them, so maybe the pills' counry of origin affects how well they work.
 
2013-06-29 12:07:28 AM  
Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry, I know that the active ingredients in generic and name brand medications are the same.  However, filler ingredients can differ, sometimes, though rarely, resulting in differing efficacies.

I have an autoimmune disorder that requires me to take large quantities of antihistamines. At first, I was using Zyrtec, Claritin, and Benadryl, in addition to prescription antihistamines. I was paying about $25 on Zyrtec, $35 on Claritin, and $12 on Benadryl per month. Now, I'm paying ~$5 each for the generic equivalents of Zyrtec and Claritin and $1 for Benadryl.  Eleven bucks is a lot easier on the wallet than the $72 I had been paying.
 
2013-06-29 12:08:20 AM  

propasaurus: I don't know about things like Advil and Tylenol, but I know there is a definite difference between some prescription drugs and their generic versions. And there's even a difference between generics from different manufacturers. The generic medication I take is much less effective than the brand name, with more side effects. And sometimes I'll be sent pills manufactured by different companies (in places like Mumbai) that vary greatly from one to the other. So, if I wasn't getting them through an insurance plan, and had unlimited resources to pay for the brand name, I'd get the real thing.


I think I found your problem.

I generally buy generics, but I recently bought name-brand Claritin because the generic brand came in huge packs, but I only have allergies for about two weeks a year and don't need that many.  They invariably expire with over half the pills left.
 
2013-06-29 12:09:08 AM  
When patents expire
the price war transpires
burmashave
 
2013-06-29 12:10:37 AM  

The All-Powerful Atheismo: Slate.  Apply directly to the forehead.


xaf.xanga.com
 
2013-06-29 12:15:48 AM  
Some of the generics had filler that my wife was allergic to.  Sure, it might be true for specific drugs, but that doesn't mean they all are.

Mostly, I'm glad we as a family don't need medicine very much because I think I'd go nuts trying to figure out all the differences between the generics and name brand. Just make the farking stuff the same.

This article is a very poor attempt at inferring causation from a correlation - for all we know, the healthcare workers are exposed to more "use the generic brand!" propaganda since the insurance companies are running the show for the most part, and want us to use generics to protect their bottom line.

When my former employ switched to a policy of "encouraging" generics, what they meant was, they only cover the generic cost, even if the doctor prescribes a specific brand or if you can farking demonstrate that the pill they are willing to pay for is something you can't take for one reason or another. Bullshiat.
 
2013-06-29 12:17:34 AM  
Oh, and of course, management was all, "b-b-b the cost of health care is rising! Do you know that some people need $2500 a week in medication to stay alive?" Yes, you farking retard, that's why they wanted health insurance. Opt-in/out health insurance is ridiculous because it causes the price to converge on the service ... and then you pass that to the employee/consumer. Genius.
 
2013-06-29 12:25:05 AM  

bwilson27: I only take brand-name heroin


catbull.com

Bayer thanks you for you patronage.
 
2013-06-29 12:38:43 AM  

PacManDreaming: propasaurus: And there's even a difference between generics from different manufacturers.

Yep, if you've ever bought store brand Omeprazole (Prilosec), then you know what I'm talking about. Kroger and Walgreen's brands suck. It's like they contain no Omeprazole in them at all. After two days of taking them, my acid reflux comes back.

As far as aspirin and acetaminophen are concerned, I buy the huge bottle of the generic stuff.


I've never taken Prilosec or its generic equivalent, but I take Benadryl so often, I should buy stock in the company.
The Walgreens generic of the maximum strength severe sinus Benadryl actually works *better* than the name
brand equivalent for me. Knocks me on my ass everytime.
 
2013-06-29 12:49:24 AM  
Always try the cheaper store brand of anything you usually buy. If it's not as good, no big deal. Buy the good stuff next time. You'll end up saving a lot of money.
 
2013-06-29 12:53:27 AM  
I know several nurses who wear magnetic bracelets for their healing energies. I will neither replicate their purchasing habits nor consider them authorities. I'll stick with my gaia infused probiotic energy crystal amulet, thank you very much.

/too much of anything damages something. Especially gullibility and wealth.
 
2013-06-29 12:55:27 AM  

TinyFist: Seeing as I have probably four types of medicine in my cabinet that have been there for going on a few years now....

hang on, not sure. There's some headache stuff- actually, I think I used the last of the headache stuff, but it was generic. Not sure where it came from. There's some allergy pills- spend the extra money on Claritin, trust me. But I don't have to use that too often. I think there's some Bayer or ibuprofen in there? I know there are some Tums in there. I don't think I have any other meds at home. Maybe some anti-diarrhea pills?

Anyways, wait, what were we talking about?


Seconded. I have no idea why, but nobody's generic version of Claritin-D does a farking thing for my congestion. But one dose of the real stuff and I can breathe.

/no problem with generic ibuprofen though
//always use the gel caps - your body absorbs way more of it than the solid pills
 
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