Saturday, August 28, 2010

since u've been gone!

I have been virtually & physically so inundated with moving, working, kids, practice, etc. etc.
I have to first start by apologizing for not keeping u all posted on what life's gifts has offered me! so, with that said, know that I am trying to get all my ducks in a row, so that I can bring u all the updates on what has been transpiring since my last post.
thank god, first and foremost that no deaths need to be reported, family is healthy, & spirits are finally gettn' higher with smiles to follow.
For a minute there, I didn't think that with all of our lives changing & altering happenings or shall I say altering moments... I couldn't help anyone see the silver lining. But, check back here in a few days, or subscribe to this blog feed, and soon I will be able to chronicle our transition from the wine business we once had, to losing all our life dreams, aspirations & still coming out on top, family & spiritual possessions in tact.
chapter by chapter, of my willingness & determination to persevere over all the obstacles we've had to endure as a family, & not allowing any worldly "wants" look like "needs".
See u soon, I promise!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Generics, bioequivalence, daw2…oh my!

A lot of scientific words that can throw anyone off, or just plainly lose interest. right? Well, that's why I had to blog about this, because most people out there don't know what the hell their dealing with, when it comes to healthcare, insurance, and/or their own health period. To often, I see pharmacist look as if they have saved the patient's day, when it comes to the patients' pocket book. But seriously, does it have to be at the risk of the patient suffering a "what could be" a life threatening side effect?

I mean, pharmaceutical companies need to pay for scientific research & data that shows that the results for the medication / molecule are duplicateable in various patient populations, over and over, and over again, and again…u get the picture! And trust me, the labor, it's not cheap here in the states and abroad to conduct these studies. So, with that said, companies pay for this R&D {research & development}, plus, the chance to bring it to market and make money from this R&D that cost them an arm & a leg to help that patient population that is suffering from that chronic illness for the next 10years. Why 10 years? Because that's how long the pharma company has paid to patent that medication and be the sole proprietor of that medication, and no one else can make and develop that medication, until then. Ok. So, after a product has been around for 10 years…the generic "vultures" come out to see how successful the distribution of that medication is, and if all the cards align, and it makes great business sense…that company will begin to pay for the rights to manufacture that product. That's how you, the patient, end up with the option to pay for a "branded" or "generic".

"branded" ~medication means that, that medication is being manufactured by one company. So, it's the same as, coka~cola manufactures "coke". So every time you drink a coke, you as a consumer, know what you're going to get every single time you pop the top.

"generic"~ medication means, that "any ol'company" knows what ingredients goes into coke, except the ratio of syrup and sugar may be a bit different . In the soda there might be more of one over the other but…it's still close enough to consider it comparable to coke, however, their label is "kola". And because they didn't have to spend as much money on advertising, and can ride on the coat tails of cokes master marketing…even if they get 5% of the coke's pie, they would have made enough money to continue putting generic "kola" on the shelf.

bioequivalence~ so, "mass production co" wants to produce a "coke-like" soft drink. All "mass production co" has to do is come up with a formula that shows that it is within a certain threshold of the original "coke", in order for them to go into mass market and begin to distribution. So, biologically, it looks like it's same molecule and scientifically the molecule shows that it can be equivalent…not equal, but equivalent {which means it's just close enough but not exactly like}. And to be real honest, psyche, cardiology and any medication having to do with balancing hormones & preventing pregnancies, should not be substituted at any differential in cost! Seriously! These are some hardcore meds.

So, let's just say your dr puts you on birth control pills, at each pill having 20mg of estrogen {EE}. If you stay on the "branded", you know every time you go to pick up your prescription, it will always be manufactured by the same company and have the same amount of hormone in each pill for every pack. Same colors, same logo, etc., etc.

Now, you go to pick up your prescription, and the pharmacist says, the medication just went generic, and if you want a lower co-pay or price, the generic is just the same minus the cost. Would you like to pay less and take the generic? So I questioned the pharmacist and said, the medication isn't the same, mr. pharmacist, it's bioequivalent. Right? He said, oh! I can see you've done your research.

Bottom line, the pharmacist knows that a generic drug is not the same as a branded drug. With a generic, u never know the dosage. If the dr prescribes a 35mg pill, there's a chance that next month, the generic has changed, and so has the manufacturer. Also, you could be getting 45mg or 25mcg, instead of 35mcg, which is what you need, not what your pocketbook wants!.

Remember, the companies that manufacture generics only need to prove bioequivalence not {p value= <.05} that the medication is 35mg 95% of the time it's dispensed, which is what a "branded" pill has to prove.

And the next time the pharmacist asks, would you like to switch to a generic? say no! and don't allow them to over write the dr orders with " DAW2".