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Generic Medicines Help Ease Pain of Recession

Generic Medicines Help Ease Pain of Recession

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

As patients, we tend not to think much about generic medications, except to appreciate that they're a lot cheaper than brand name drugs.

That's why this list of top 10 lifesaving generic medications by Dr. Ed Pullen of Puyallup, Wa. was such an interesting read, particularly in this recession. Pullen offers some historical context:

The 1980's and 1990's were a golden age in the development of great new drugs to treat many common and uncommon diseases.  Prior to that time it was very difficult to treat depression, hypertension, diabetes, and congestive heart failure. It was nearly impossible to treat high cholesterol.

Breakthrough drugs like the SSRI antidepressants, ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers for hypertension, metformin for diabetes, and several drugs in combination for congestive heart failure came to market, and have revolutionized the care of many of these chronic diseases

Many of these medications cost $100-600/month as branded medications, but most are now either on the $4/month discount pharmacy lists, or otherwise quite affordable. 

Pullen includes statins to prevent heart disease, ACE inhibitors to ease high blood pressure, antipsychotics, SSRI antidepressants, nonsedating antihistamines for allergies and acid reflux treatments among his list.

As the pharma industry continues to be scrutinized for its aggressive marketing of brand-name drugs, it's nice to be reminded of the role that generics play in improving our health.  

Share your thoughts in the comments below and check out this really interesting post by Antidote blogger William Heisel about people's perceptions of brand name and generic drugs.

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