Is There Any Reason Why Generic Drugs Must Have Generic Labels?

brand-name-vs-generic-300x250In the context of what’s at stake in health care, the practice of giving drugs two names, a brand name and a generic name, makes no sense. Is there any other industry in which thousands of component parts are insistently given two dissimilar names, even though people can suffer, be hurt, possibly even die, if a mistake in names is made? Every drug with two names — and that means practically every drug in use — is a medication error waiting to happen. (NYT)

Comments (13)

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  1. Martha says:

    It’s a profit-driven industry…

    • Billy says:

      What isn’t?

      • Martha says:

        I mean, plenty of industries have the same product labeled differently. Just think Hollister vs. Abercrombie. My kids wear both but one is around 25-50% more expensive for no good reason. Same quality, same style.

  2. Bill says:

    very simple – trademark and patent law

  3. Buster says:

    The brand name is worth millions of dollars. Why would I pay extra for Zocor rather than buying Simbastatin if the makers of Zocor weren’t allowed to call it Zocor once the patent expired? What about Viagra? What advantage would Pfizer have if it had to start calling its product Sildenafil?

  4. Jimbino says:

    The whole Amerikan medical industry is based on information hiding. That’s why smart folks go to Mexico and Thailand for treatment.

    And that’s why we need Amazon or Walmart to run it in the USSA.

  5. Tom G. says:

    It seems a sensible idea. It will increase competition too.

  6. Stewart T. says:

    This is a classic example of profits coming before patients.