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Three to four years ago those of us in primary care started to see more and more of our adult and elderly patients on Risperdal (risperidone) for many different uses. As it turns out, the drug company making that drug, Johnson and Johnson, will now be paying $158 million to settle claims that it inappropriately marketed Risperdal… Read More

Is the generic the same as the brand name? What standards do generic drugs have to meet? Doctors and patients alike need to feel assured that the generic prescribed is equivalent to the brand name. So, what exactly does that mean? FDA-approved generic drugs have to meet the same rigid standards as the innovator drug (the… Read More

In this economy people wonder what to do if they can’t afford their medications. First off, if you can’t afford your medicines talk to your doctor or pharmacist, but do not skip doses in an effort to save money. Here are some important ways to lower the cost of your medications: 1) Ask for generic… Read More

What’s the story with Pradaxa (dabigatran)? The buzz created by the heavy marketing campaign from Boehringer Ingelheim, the makers of Pradaxa, has made its mark because many of my patients are asking: what’s the story with the new and better warfarin? Physicians and patients alike have been anticipating the arrival of this new blood thinner… Read More

What are the most dangerous medications? Results from a recent study highlight four drugs that are responsible for a shocking number of negative effects. Data from 2007 – 2009 shows that these four drugs were involved in more than two-thirds of the hospitalizations of older patients for harmful drug reactions and incidents. Researchers looked at… Read More

For those of you paying big bucks for your cholesterol medication Lipitor: you have an early Christmas present. Finally, atorvastatin, a generic alternative to Lipitor, has been shipped! On November 30, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two generic versions of the cholesterol lowering drug Lipitor (atorvastatin), made by Ranbaxy Laboratories and Watson Pharmaceuticals. Atorvastatin… Read More

Insomnia has a huge impact on people’s lives, with many relying on a medication for sleep. Sales of Ambien and Lunesta were over $3 billion in 2007. Ambien and Ambien CR then became available as generics (zolpidem and zolpidem er) so the hunt was on for new brand name insomnia medications, which are big money… Read More

Today I saw a 24-year-old patient who landed her first job a year ago. Her OB/GYN had prescribed Beyaz as an oral contraceptive for her and she was paying $95 a month to fill it, she told me with tears in her eyes. “Are there other options?” she asked. Oh yeah, there are. What’s Beyaz?… Read More