Generic Heart Medicine Performs the Same as Brand-Name Versions
A team of researchers looked into the efficacy of generic heart medications compared to brand-name versions, and found no difference between the two. Expensive drugs are no better for your heart than cheaper meds, a finding which comes as a great relief to patients who can't afford the brand-names - and the insurance companies who save dollars as well.
Patients and physicians have expressed concern that generic drugs may not work as well. So a team from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School reviewed 47 articles published from 1984 to 2008 to look for differences.
Thirty-eight of the studies were randomized, controlled trials, which are considered the most exact way to perform research. In all but three of those, there were no differences found between the drugs.
The studies covered a variety of heart medicines, including beta-blockers, diuretics and statins.Despite that, editorials filed with the studies argued against using generic drugs about half of the time.
The researchers ventured that the editorial bias toward generic drugs may be a result of "financial relationships of editorialists with brand-name pharmaceutical companies, which are not always disclosed."
Overall, they wrote, doctors and patients can rely on the Food and Drug Administration's assurances that a generic version really is the same as a brand-name drug.