Is the (pharmaceutical) grass greener?

Is newer or more expensive better?

I do not necessarily think so.  While in training I was given the advice to not be the first physician prescribing a drug, nor the last.  There is some wisdom in that. 

Our society values brand-name products and is often swayed by marketing that a new drug is somehow better.  Many “new” drugs are new only in formulation—a sustained release or long acting preparations.  This is a patent-extending measure to make the pharmaceutical company more money.   Renamed drugs with new indications are considered “new” and a new brand name means that a generic equivalent cannot be provided. 

Family physicians are uniquely positioned to know the disease entities and their first-line therapy.  I  suggest time-tested drugs, many of which are available in generic form.  The risk and benefits of generic drugs are well-known because the drugs have been around longer.  An analysis combining 38 studies showed no evidence that branded preparations were superior to generic.

 I tell my patients that my family takes generic medication, many look at me in disbelief.   I tell my husband, newer is not better. . . he appreciates that.

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About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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