Friday, October 22, 2010

Why Pay More?

There are a few things I am willing to pay more for to get the name brand. In some cases the quality is actually higher, so I make up for the higher cost by being able to use certain products for longer.

Of course, there are other things, like food, that are exactly the same, no matter what brand they are. I'll gladly pay half price for Great Value macaroni and cheese that tastes exactly like Kraft.

I generally don't understand why people insist on paying a higher price for something that is EXACTLY THE SAME.

That's why I don't understand why people want brand name medications, either over the counter or prescription.

Let me tell you a little story.

Once upon a time I worked at a giant pharmaceutical company (Cephalon). In the particular location where I worked they made a product called Actiq, which is fentanyl (a narcotic 80 times more powerful than morphine) (you would not believe the amount of paperwork required for ANYTHING involving a Schedule II controlled substance...). In the factory they made brand name Actiq...AND generic fentanyl. Exact same formula. Exact same production process. And, most importantly, EXACT SAME QUALITY CONTROL TESTING PROTOCOLS. Very strict ones, in fact.

For one dose of Actiq, Cephalon charges somewhere around $50, depending on the dosage.

Guess how much they charge for a dose of generic fentanyl?

$17. Yep. Almost three times as much, for the exact same thing.

People, it doesn't matter what company makes the medication. The FDA monitors very carefully the production and testing of every single drug available in the US. There are inspections ALL THE TIME, and they are very strict. If there are any violations, the companies get fined heavily, so to avoid this, the companies are very very careful to do everything properly and safely.

On a related note, I hate when people are wary of something that's made in a lab versus the same thing found in nature. Keywords being the same thing. And, chances are, they can get the substance more pure if they make it in a lab, and many times for a much smaller cost.

So now you know.

Go forth and buy generic!

1 comment:

magnolia said...

this little under-insured graduate student HEAVILY endorses generic drugs. yes, yes indeed. :)