The Problem with Generic Substitution of Epilepsy Medication
Generic Drugs Can Save You Money, But Not When Switching Among
Different Versions Causes Seizures or Side Effects
Generic drugs are currently estimated to save consumers at least $8 to $10 billion a year at retail pharmacies because they cost less than the brand name versions of the same product. The Epilepsy Foundation actively supports the increased use of generic medications as a way to save money in healthcare. Because medications are a major cost of epilepsy, the availability of less expensive versions of brand name medicine can be very good news for people with epilepsy.
Medication switching is a major concern because seizures are serious events that can have considerable cost to one’s health, well-being, and pocketbook – and can even be life threatening for the person experiencing the seizure, or because that person accidentally injures someone else during the seizure. As is being shown in related studies, the cost savings in the less expensive medications may be lost when overall health costs and societal consequences are taken into account for those patients who experience breakthrough seizures or troublesome side effects when switched from their usual seizure medicine.
The Foundation has written to the major insurance companies sharing the data on switching and requesting that, given the elevated risk, companies not require patients on brand AEDs to switch and to eliminate any cost differential between brand and generic AEDs for people with epilepsy.
Click here for more information on what you can do to ensure your medication is covered and to learn more about the Epilepsy Foundation’s outreach and education to insurance companies about medication switching.
For more information on generic substitution, please visit:
Click here to for copies of the bills and our memo of support