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When Is it Not Okay to Take a Generic Drug?
The Wall Street Journal

Generic drugs in the U.S. are often introduced when the patent on a brand-name drug expires. That can mean huge savings for consumers, as generics usually cost a fraction of brand drugs. One expert, Stephen Schondelmeyer, a professor of pharmaceutical economics at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, explains when to be cautious about switching to generics even though they usually have the same chemical effect on the body as brand-name drugs

Most doctors will write prescriptions for the generic version of a drug because it is much cheaper for the patient. And even when a brand-name drug is prescribed, some insurers will only cover the cost of the generic unless the prescription indicates the brand name is medically necessary.

The Food and Drug Administration evaluates generic drugs to make sure they are “the exact therapeutic equivalent of the originator brand-name drug,” Dr. Schondelmeyer says.

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