Generic vs “I want‼️”

In the UK the National Health Service sets prescribing guidelines for doctors.

“Generics remain a key element in government strategy for the cost-effective provision of medicines through the NHS. Generic prescribing is a standard practice in UK.”

That’s fine, but in the US we have criticism and Tweets complaining about insurance not covering the drug a patient wants because what the patients wants is the brand drug.


  1. Which brings me to TV drug advertising. I should not be asking my doctor about a drug because I saw it on TV. My doctor should be prescribing me a drug that will work for my condition. If I feel that my doctor is not up to date on drugs or doesn’t have my best interest, then it is time for a new doctor.


  2. People often believe generics are inferior. However, in some cases the generic is actually the brand drug without the brand stamp on the pill.


  3. I think generic substitution as the default is pretty much the standard across the country today. But you are correct in your observation that people become attached to brands – look at the continued sales of branded OTC meds sitting next to their equivalent generics.


    1. I have never understood why anyone would pay 3 or more times for branded OTC medications. Or even prefer a prescription medication when a OTC is available at a lower cost. I was buying a prescription cream 1 oz for a rash with an $8 co-pay, when I ran out, I googled the name brand for a OTC replacement. Hydrocortisone cream came up. The name of the prescription cream gave no clue that Hydrocortisone cream was a valid replacement. I found Hydrocortisone cream 1 oz. at Walmart for 88 cents. Guess what, it worked just as good as the $8 cream and I do not know what additional payment the insurance company also paid. I am sure that there are other examples out there. Maybe we need to instruct doctors to not prescribe if there is an OTC available, but then that will not feed the hungry Medical Industrial Complex.


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