What Your Doctor Is Not Telling You: Why generic is better than name-brand
Although more often we associate illness with the winter season, there are a few bugs going around at this time of year – not to mention an increase in the number of people suffering from allergies. As parents, we want the best for our children; specifically, we want them to be safe and healthy. When they are sick, we rely on health professionals to heal them and tend to administer the medicine that they recommend. But often we are being persuaded to buy name-brand prescription drugs to treat the symptoms when, in reality, generic alternatives are just as effective.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have great respect for medical professional; however, I do not think that doctors are above undo influence. The pharmaceutical companies exercise strong methods of persuasion to ensure that, when it comes to writing a prescription, their drug will be top-of-mind. Ever notice the calendars, posters and notepads emblazoned with various drug logos in your doctor’s office? Aiming to target the subconscious, pharmaceutical seduction does not end at the lavish annual conferences.
Most often doctors are not consciously aware that they are playing into the ploy. Unfortunately, they sometimes actively participate in the deceit. A doctor-friend of mine once recounted her experience in medical school. While she was on rotation with a family medicine doctor, she asked for advice on which drug to prescribe to alleviate a patient’s condition. The supervising doctor answered unapologetically: “well, which representative do you like best?” To realize that decisions on prescription drugs were made, in some instances, on such trivial facts was disheartening to hear.
The truth is that generic drugs are just as effective as name-brand ones – and cheaper! We have been led to believe that name-brand is best, but that is more-or-less a marketing ploy. What’s more, insurance companies will only reimburse a prescription claim to the maximum cost of the generic version. Meaning that if your name-brand prescription was $70 but the generic version is only $60, you will only be reimbursed a percentage of the $60 maximum. So next time you are in your doctor’s office, be sure to request the generic version of the prescription drug.
Alternative, it is important to consider natural remedies as replacements to some prescription medication. Sometimes these alternatives are as effective and induce less secondary side-effects.
- Have a headache? Apply tiger balm to your temples
- Congested? Try a neti pot
- Experiencing acne, fungal infection or needing an anti-septic? Rely on tea tree oil
Take charge of your own health and avoid playing into larger scale marketing schemes. You will save a fortune!