The Generic Pharmaceutical Association Says JAMA Article Confirms Safety

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) released the following statement today from GPhA President and CEO Kathleen Jaeger regarding the article published in the December 3, 2008 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) comparing the effectiveness of generic versus brand name drugs used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

"Today's article in the respected medical journal JAMA confirms that generic medicines are as safe and effective as their brand name counterparts. This scientific review is the latest in a growing number of authoritative statements from the FDA and others proving that it is safe to substitute an FDA- approved generic medicine for a brand name product.

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Consumers need to have confidence in the medicines they take. Safety and effectiveness will always be the top priority of the generic pharmaceutical industry and it is critical that consumers not be needlessly frightened by anecdotes. It is noteworthy that the JAMA article states, 'popular media and scientific journals could choose to be more selective about publishing perspective pieces based on anecdotal evidence of diminished clinical efficacy or greater risk of adverse effects with generic medications. Such publications may enhance barriers to appropriate generic drug use that increase unnecessary spending without improving clinical outcomes.' See: Heart Disease Generic Drugs Not Inferior To Brand Treatments.

As state legislators across the country deal with brand-sponsored "carve- out" legislation designed to protect brand monopolies by limiting access to safe and affordable generics, we urge them to heed the evidence provided by JAMA. In 2008, more than 60 generic carve-out bills were introduced in 33 states, each aimed at keeping generics from consumers. The JAMA article provides a trusted voice in support of consumers in this debate, and confirms FDA's position that when one therapeutically equivalent drug is substituted for another, the physician, pharmacist and patient can be assured of the same clinical results and safety profile.

For nearly 25 years, generic medicines have been saving consumers and the government billions of dollars a year. With many consumers relying on generic medicines for the treatments they require, this JAMA article presents additional proof that generics provide the same safety and effectiveness of brand products, at lower cost."

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals, manufacturers and distributors of bulk active pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic drug industry. Generics represent 65% of the total prescriptions dispensed in the United States, but only 20% of all dollars spent on prescription drugs. For more information about the industry, visit www.gphaonline.org.

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