Friday, June 26, 2009

Generic vs. Brandname

In college, I was introduced to the NuvaRing. I had tried birth control pills but, felt like they were making me moody plus, I wasn't always 100% consistent with taking them. The NuvaRing seemed to be exactly what I was looking for: low dosage hormones and no need to worry about taking something at the same time every single day. Another bonus was that my health clinic only charged $5 for birth control methods and often threw in free samples.

Once, out into the real world, I realized that I would have to pay a lot more. Even at Planned Parenthood, with their marvelous sliding income scales, it cost almost $40/month and my health care wouldn't cover it. Why? Because it was too new of a product and a generic version had not yet been created and supposedly can't be until 2018(!) Eventually, I decided to stop this method but, that had more to do with side effects (intense breast tenderness) though, than cost. All this being said, drug costs have much more to do with brand name than anything else (such as chemical composition).

Last Wednesday, the FDA approved a generic version of the emergency contraception pill, Plan B. I think this is wonderful news- now this already accessible option will be even more accessible:

"A one-time use pack of the brand-name product, Plan B, currently costs $49.99 through the online retailer According to Bloomberg, generic drugs usually cost 30% to 80% less than brand-name versions (Larkin, Bloomberg, 6/24)." From National Partnership for Women and Families.

Have you had ever had any experience with expensive brand name drugs?

No comments: