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CVS / gernerics

1 Lynchburg, VA, United States Review updated:

CVS is constantly switching my name brand drugs to generics. I prefer all brand names b/c regardless of what they tell you, generics can have up to a 10% difference in the active ingredient. I work for a pharmaceutical company and know this to be factual; not just from my 18 months of rigorous training, but also from the doctors I call on daily. The issue is: The public consumers to not realize the facts. All pharmacies make a lot of money off of selling generic drugs. Of course they don;t broadcast this as it would look like they are greedy. I checked the prices for cash paying patients and there was a $30.00 difference in what CVS charges VS. Kroger grocery stores. Bottom line: If your insurance pays for the brand names you must INSIST that they provide you with the brand names. I have to tell them over and over each time. Many times the store won't even stock the brand names as they will tell you they have to order it so you will just give in and accept the generic. I am tired of pharmacies, particularly the CVS making my health care decisions for me. Side note... I don't know if pharmacists in other states have the right to change name brand to generics, but in VA they do. Also, you can request you doctor to check the box on the script as "formulary name brand" and then the pharmacist cannot change it.

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Comments

  • Pl
      28th of Dec, 2010
    -1 Votes

    Since you're such a highly trained drug rep, why don't you just switch to another pharmacy? I had just the opposite experience at the CVS (in VA). My insurance company decided I could take a certain med at a much lower cost than the brand; pharmacist told me it wasn't going to work out for me. He was right, it didn't. After all the prior auth's and the mess that goes along with that, I was approved for the brand at the highest formulary tier. Also, our CVS will match a cash pay. I work in a doctor's office and have heard the "10% difference in active ingredient" in the generic brand from each and every rep as they're dropping off ("selling") their brand/product. Apparently that line is taught to all of the highly trained drug reps who visit our office; somewhat generic wouldn't you say?

  • Pl
      28th of Dec, 2010
    -1 Votes

    Exactly, Mellen67. Of course any major pharm company would also make their own generic line. It's a win-win for everyone (except the ones who drank the kool--aid on that 10% thingy).

  • Co
      1st of Jan, 2011
    -2 Votes

    Well, you all can believe what you want. My insurance pays for the brand name and that is what I get. It is not the doctor's fault and you may think the company that makes some of your life saving drugs is all out for the money, and the drug stores are just as guilty. I have had several doctors ask me if I can get their patients the brand name for one of the anti-depressants my company makes that went generic about two years ago. The patients are not doing as well on the generic. Most docs would just blow this off b/c they don't want to deal with the issue. I know the inside scoop. There are only a handful of doctors I would even go to in this town after all I have seen and heard. If you want the cheaper version... go for it. Just keep in mind you get what you pay for. For now, I go to Target and have a great relationship with the pharmacy there.

  • Co
      1st of Jan, 2011
    -2 Votes

    Brenda, glad you don't ever make typos. Guess you are perfect.

  • Pl
      1st of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    As a "concerned drug rep" making folks believe generic forms of life-saving drugs are not as effective as their brand counter-parts could also work in your favor (in the form of job security, commissions, physician signatures, etc.). With the new rules and regulations put upon drug companies/reps and the economic situation right now, it is to your advantage to sample-out a patient (through the physician and/or surgeon) the name brand medication as long as possible. By seeing the "brand" over and over (and free for quite a while), this could give certain patients the feeling that only the "brand" works; more specifically, only YOUR brand works. I see this happen every week; and generally, it's the patient making the request and the physician agreeing if medically appropriate. The rep, who doesn't know the patient BTW, does know which particular med is moving. Even though it's a job perk, I personally don't use this sampling-out since I prefer to watch and learn. (No narcotics involved. This is a high-end ob/gyn office, which makes the sampling out even more sickening to me. These are folks who have insurance and can afford to pay a few extra dollars for brand versus generic ~~ or even pay for necessary meds period.) **Brenda--not responsible for typos or grammatical errors** O-O ~~ I'm not a concerned drug rep, I'm just a person watching our health care costs almost double in 2011, both in premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, and yes, brand vs generic. My favorite on the latter: a monthly analysis on how we can better save ... so Mr. drug rep, you probably should be concerned but maybe for other reasons along with brand vs generic.

  • Co
      1st of Jan, 2011
    +2 Votes

    Whether you believe it or not, there is a difference. I don't care wether it is my company or not, I still always get the brand name. If you prefer not to have samples to try, then don't allow drug reps in your office- that is what some people do. I get so tired of people putting down the pharma industry. If they did not exist, there would be no research into finding new ways to help patients. Yes, the brand name does help my company grow, but they have to recoup the cost of millions of chemists who sometimes spend their whole career w/o developing one drug that makes it. to market. I have never told a doctor to take a patient off of something that is working for them... only to give patients who are still in pain to consider another choice as an option. Some physicians don't keep up with the newer drugs, data and therefore are doing their patients a disservice. I see it everyday, in many offices I call on. I would never be a patient in any of their offices b/c they are usually more concerned about getting the patient out the door and refuse to do the prior authorizations if they do think one drug is better than another. And, if you don't want your reps to know the data, then you can opt out of that by going online and requesting it. I have several health problems and know that for myself the brand name works better. If you are a doctor then you know that after a drug goes off patent, within a few years so many companies begin making the drug that it is nearly impossible to make all of those companies put the same amount of active ingredient in them. The FDA and lawyers are more concerned with brand names being scrutinized because those companies have deep pockets. My rates have all gone up starting today. Obama is also affecting you as your medicare patients will give you less money. And you will also need to write a script for over the counter drugs. One of my rheumatologists just shut his doors b/c he cannot afford the cost of getting less for medicare patients. In addition I go to a very high end gyn office and my doctor will write for narcotics for a patient who is in severe pain. I also do know about some of the patients as my doctors (w/o violating HIPPA) share information with me about how the drugs are working in specific patients. So indeed I do have other concerns about generic vs. brand. BTW it is Ms. and Mister.

  • Pl
      1st of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    Putting aside our disagreement on brand vs generic, I am in complete agreement with you regarding Medicare patients. You see, unfortunately I am now virtually unemployable after suffering a TIA several years ago and now receive Medicare. The practice that I worked for recently let me go as nicely as possible; but in all honesty I saw it coming. I, too, have a several health problems besides the lingering leftovers of the stroke (orthopedic in nature and not related to the TIA). All of my physicians keep up with new treatments/drugs that could possibly be used to my benefit, and now their hands are even more tied because of Medicare. In my wildest dreams I never would have imagined my life like this and Medicare so confusing and physician reimbursement so low. So far, the physicians I see now are the ones I've been seeing prior to becoming Medicare-eligible. The only one (for a kidney stone) that accepted me was because I was referred through an ER visit; he noted he will continue to be my urologist since he remembered me from "back in the day" so to speak as their practice is not accepting new Medicare patients except through ER on-call. (I expect most practices will figure out a way around that eventually.) My best to you, even though we disagree on the brand vs generic issue. Not trying to make this all political, but I'm not sure that this health care plan, if implemented as it stands right now, will be beneficial to the average person; already it's not affordable. Oh, noted, Ms. CDR!

  • Co
      17th of Jan, 2011
    +1 Votes

    My Dad is in a nursing home for a broken hip. He is 72 and will never walk again (he is in a wheelchair) due to the fact that Medicare will only pay for so many sessions. I live in a small city with many "out of the way" offices' who do not keep up with current standards. I volunteer at a Free Clinic in my area who help uninsured and / or underinsured patients. The other day a patient was taking Neurontin and a heavy dose of Lyrica. Even my Pain Specialists would know better than do do this; and they were not titrating down. She took both. I am 40 and do not know how these changes will affect me. Starting 1/1/11 my co-pay for meds went up $30.00 a script. I grew up on welfare and paid for my undergrad and grad degree so I could do better for myself. The obese, smokers, and those with cell phones would be drug tested b/ they receive any handouts. That would fix a HUGE problem right there.

  • Co
      17th of Jan, 2011
    +1 Votes

    My Dad's factory closed and moved to China. I find that most people like yourself are the ones' who breed w/o using birth control---- which you can GET FO FREE at the Health Dept. Yes I want restrictions!!! Drug testing, mandatory tubal ligation or vasectomies, NO manicures, NO cell phones. Welfare people should be MADE to do some type of volunteer work. Who cares about emergencies... we didn't have one and did just fine!!! Diabetes Type one is hereditary/ most type two are life style choices. How many women do you think have children by three or more father's that are on welfare? You are barking up the wrong tree "Dawniettttte!!

  • Co
      17th of Jan, 2011
    -1 Votes

    Uniqua,
    You shouldn't speak up unless you know all the facts. That's called ignorance.

  • Co
      18th of Jan, 2011
    -1 Votes

    Sorry Dwinetttiaa,
    I should re-phrase. We were on welfare for four years and I moved out at 18 and went to six years of college. I've had a job and been self- supportive since I was twelve. My family does not "breed" as you refer to having children. I'm glad you and your husband have children that are productive members of society. My story is not an excuse; it was told to show that welfare can be good to get back on your feet when one loses a job. Not when people want something for free. Most Americans have a sense of entitlement and think the government owes them everything. The government only owes what the Constitution says; "Life, Liberty. and the Pursuit" of Happiness." Notice the word "pursuit". That does not guaranteed anything but ones' right to make something of themselves if they choose to do so. I'm tired of half of my money going to obese, diabetic smokers who choose to eat and drink their life away. They drive up the cost of health care through doctor's visits, medication, oxygen tanks, home health care and the like. I'm not one bit worried about NOBAMA care; the congress will never pass it and 24 states have their own court trials going on now to repeal it. If you want to pay for it, by all means, go for it. PS: You may want to go back and review a grammar book or two.

  • Co
      19th of Jan, 2011
    -1 Votes

    Dinnwata,
    I know proper grammar. Typos are common.
    If you must be nosey and ask, I had a paper route and got no money from my Dad who was a single Father. When I was fifteen I got a worker's permit and worked at McDonald's . Most caucasian men stay around to support their children; but as always there are exceptions to the rule. My eldest sister had a worked at the church rectory answering phones. I was a waitress all through college and babysat to make ends meet. I just paid off my student loans about five years ago. The only thing my Dad provided for me was a roof over my head and some groceries. I have nothing more to say to you. And FYI I spelled you name incorrectly on purpose. Some parents' choose obnoxious names for their offspring that automatically put them at a disadvantage in the professional job force.
    P.S., maybe you should break out a US History Book along with a grammar one.

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