More Cost-Saving Generic Drugs Available

Newswise - Generic drugs are safe, effective, less expensive and an option for an increasing number of patients with many medical conditions.

According to the September issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter, generics make up more than 50 percent of drugs prescribed today. Compared with brand name drugs, generics can cost 30 percent to 80 percent less.

The popularity and availability of generic drugs resulted from the federal Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984. Then, only about 12 percent of prescription drugs were generics. The act allowed companies that manufactured generic drugs to forgo costly duplication of expensive clinical trials already conducted by the developer of the brand name medication.

If you havent asked lately, check with your doctor about generic options for medications you take. In the past two and one-half years, many important brand name drugs have gone off patent. Some examples include:

  • Accupril (generic name quinapril) for high blood pressure and heart failure
  • Allegra (fexofenadine) for allergy
  • Amaryl (glimepiride) for diabetes
  • Cefzil (cefprozil), an antibiotic
  • Flonase (fluticasone), an allergy nasal steroid spray
  • Neurontin (gabapentin) for neuropathy
  • Pravachol (pravastatin) for cholesterol management
  • Propecia (finasteride) for male hair loss
  • Proscar (finasteride) for enlarged prostate
  • Zithromax (azithromycin), an antibiotic
  • Zocor (simvastatin) for cholesterol management
  • Zoloft (sertraline) for depression

Source: Mayo Clinic