Generic drugs: The business of practicing good medicine (Sponsored by Putney)

Generic drugs: The business of practicing good medicine (Sponsored by Putney)

A roundtable discussion

Definition of generic drugs

Dr. Margie Scherk: How do you define the term generic drug?

Dr. Margo Karriker
Dr. Margo Karriker: A generic drug is a pharmacologic agent approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a bioequivalent substitute and manufactured by a number of different companies as a result of the expiration of the original patent.

FDA Resources
Dr. Peter H. Rheinstein: The FDA approves generic drugs the same way as brand-name drugs, except in place of the brand-name drug's efficacy studies, researchers conduct a bioequivalence study, which shows that the generic drug works the same way as the pioneer drug. With veterinary drugs in the United States, you can tell it is a generic if it has an application number that begins with 2.

Dr. Peter H. Rheinstein
Dr. James Olson: In veterinary school, we were taught that generics were the same as the brand-name drugs. We were forced to learn scientific names because we knew that at some point, a generic would be released. For example, we used to administer benazepril as the brand-name drug Lotensin. As soon as it went generic the price decreased, which caused our clients to better comply with our recommendations. Generics are the way to go.

Gary Glassman: A lot of people define generics based upon them being less expensive—not their bioequivalency and active ingredients.

Dr. James Olson
Scherk: That gives us peace of mind that what we are buying is bioequivalency. We can rest assured that generics are bioequivalent and just as efficacious as the original patented brand names.

Advantages of generics

Scherk: Why should a practice carry generic drugs?

Advantages of generic veterinary drugs
Glassman: Practitioners like alternatives. They see a variety of clients and pets with varying needs. Generics offer a prescribing alternative and help clients comply with their veterinarian's recommendations and follow a particular medical protocol. Cost is always an issue in veterinary medicine. The general public may perceive pets' healthcare to be expensive because insurance cost supplements don't usually exist. In human medicine the office visit co-pay may be $20, while the veterinary visit may seem to cost much more.