in NYTimes: “Not All Drugs Are the Same After All”

We’re thrilled to see our Joe and Terry Graedon, of, in the New York Times (“Not All Drugs Are the Same After All”) telling a truth that the FDA hasn’t figured out: generics don’t always work the same as the brand name drug.

Joe and Terry exemplify the participatory medicine movement. He’s a pharmacologist, and she’s a PhD medical anthropologist, studying what people do in a given culture (in this case, ours). Our founder “Doc Tom” Ferguson lists them as his advisors in his White Paper’s acknowledgements.

Theirs is a story of conversion based on undeniable evidence gained by listening to patients:

“We were the country’s leading generic enthusiasts,” he told me recently. But over the last eight or nine years, Mr. Graedon began hearing about “misadventures” from people who read his syndicated newspaper column, also called The People’s Pharmacy.

The stories were typically from patients who were switched from a brand name drug to a generic one and had side effects or found that their symptoms returned…

The Times article spells out the issue: to the FDA, a generic is the same if it has “the same active ingredient, strength and dosage form.” But the citizens on the People’s Pharmacy discussion forums report that’s not true for them – and new research the Graedons sponsored shows that another variable, the release rate, varies. The body might well respond differently if the drug arrives in the cells at a different rate, but the FDA doesn’t look at that. People’s Pharmacy convinced to do that research.

E-patients who want to take responsibility for their own care need to wise up and speak up. In many ways the FDA’s processes prevent junk from entering stores, but it’s a mistake to expect perfection.

Listen to your body. If your insurance company switches you to a generic, pay attention to your response. Or even if it doesn’t! If your response to a medication changes, tell your medical advisors.


Posted in: news & gossip | pt/doc co-care | trends & principles | Why PM




8 Responses to “ in NYTimes: “Not All Drugs Are the Same After All””

  1. ePatientDave says:

    New on in NYTimes re evidence of non-equivalent generics

  2. ePatientDave says:

    New on in NYTimes re evidence of non-equivalent generics

  3. RT @ePatientDave: New on in NYTimes re evidence of non-equivalent generics

  4. […] – Not All Drugs Are The Same After All […]

  5. SusannahFox says:

    Citizen regulators: toy division + drug division Other examples?

  6. ePatientDave says:

    @nanarcr That would be a great comment on"Not all drugs are equivlant" post

  7. I am always happy to find other healthcare experts who corroborate on the same topic; in this case it is the genuine differences between generic and brand-name drugs. As part of our monthly newsletter, we had also published an article reiterating the differences and the need for consumers to educate themselves before deciding on what to purchase… generic or brand. I believe that as patients and caregivers begin to find consistent answers from multiple healthcare practitioners, the information becomes credible to them, they begin to trust those who advocate for them, which hopefully leads to empowered, highly informed health care consumers… which is exactly what we need today.

  8. Omar says:

    I find out a great deal of facts from a certain study when I surf the internet that has an abstract “short narrative outline of the journal post, document, or source. A study of ethical difficulties from pharmacists’ (n=869) viewpoint in various process controls found family and work knowledge were being most influential on personal ethics, most had experienced a problem in the last year, and various ethical difficulties were cited as most often manifesting and most difficult to deal with.” It is very valuable for pharmacy issue.

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