"Unquestionably generics are safe, effective, and affordable. They have to pass FDA scrutiny for safety and effectiveness, and the increasing use of generics is a good example, of how they are not only safe but effective."
In fact, Director of Pharmacy and Industry Relations at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield John Giacovelli says that in the Utica, Rome, North Country in 2005, the generic drug dispensing rate was 47% and in 2011 it had increased to almost 72%. And, he says, there unfortunately continues to be inaccurate descriptions of generics on medical blogs long dis-proven.
"The active ingredient is exactly the same and that's what the FDA requires...now there may be manufacturing differences and there are a variety of constituents used to actually produce a tablet or capsule, but those are insert ingredients, and have no therapeutic value," says Giacovelli.
In fact, he says hospitals have used generics for years. For some medications, there's not a generic, but a therapeutic class of drugs that treat the same thing. Giacovelli suggests in that case, speak with your pharmacist and physician. And of course, the cost savings can be quite significant, for consumers who pay out-of pocket, and for those who pay for health benefits - and their insurer.
"The savings of generics will range from 20% in the beginning to approaching 90% in six or more months," says Giacovelli, "and that opportunity for consumers is really profound in many ways; especially for the elderly, we always look for ways where we can help our senior citizens so they don't have to pick between food and drugs."