Yes, generic Duragesic is called fentanyl citrate patches. Each medication affects different people differently. Often narcotics can cause drowsiness. For me, fentanyl makes me much less drowsy than other meds, but that may be in part due to the fact that I am allergic to everything else. There are meds to treat drowsiness, but I agree that the ideal would be to not have any drowsiness in the first place. It is a difficult balance to get the meds at a point where they help enough with the pain that some activity is possible, without going to the point where you're so sleepy you can't stay awake to do any of that activity. Personally, I have been happy to take advantage of surgeries & such to get the pain under control, but I know Pamela is not comfortable going that route so I was trying to suggest another alternative. It's not perfect but hopefully it will give her a bit more relief than what she currently gets.
I do agree with you & everyone here that R&D is expensive. Furthermore, I have long been in favor of putting some more restrictions on litigation to limit frivolous suits or outrageous pain & suffering judgments b/c I know that some of the cost results from that. I think class action suits ought to require people to "opt in" so that litigation settlements don't end up just lining the pockets of plaintiff class action attorneys. That said, I did work for a while in the patent department for a major pharmaceutical company so I do get that they need the opportunity to recover R&D costs to motivate investment in research. I do, however, feel that once a drug goes generic that the name-brand company should not be able to direct the cost of the generic. I'm sure there are people who benefit from Fentora. A lot of people complain about
cavities from Actiq, so there is certainly plenty of demand for the drug.
My problem is that R&D costs were almost certainly recovered already on the Actiq. Pharma companies price name-brand drugs so that they can recover those costs before the patent expires. What they've done by setting the price on the generic is basically eliminate the competition on their currently patented product, Fentora. To require the generic Actiq be sold at roughly the same price as the name-brand Fentora is really nothing more than a back-door way of encouraging more people to try Fentora than would otherwise do so if the generic Actiq were sold for 1/4 of the price. I stand by my statement that it is unjust what they're doing. Charging a lot of money for a name brand drug is one thing, requiring generic manufacturers to overcharge for their version just to keep pace with the cost of newer name-brand drugs is not right.
They would only be "shooting themselves in the foot" if the prescript
ion insurers stopped paying for the cost of the meds. My prescript
ion insurer does negotiate a $100 discount on the generic Actiq to get it from $400/box down from $500/box. Until it stops being covered by prescript
ion insurance, these drug companies will keep charging high prices. However, often when an insurer refuses to pay for a particular drug to to the high price, people file complaints and/or lawsuits against the insurance company to force them to pay. So, in a way, I guess we have those lawsuits to blame for the high price of drugs. But Tony does make a decent point: if they can't charge enough to recover costs, the drug companies just will stop doing so much research and there won't be new drugs.
So, I'm not really sure what the answer is. I'm still against generic prices being set by the brand name's company, but other than that I'm not really sure what we can do. I have chosen to honestly face my situation & go to the local food pantry (which fortunately still has food), but I know not everyone has a stocked food pantry near by. If we can find solutions so many of the world's most complex problems, I feel like we ought to find a way to be able to lower the cost of generic medications, but perhaps that is just naive & idealistic. :(
Post Edited (Frances_2008) : 2/13/2009 7:03:03 PM (GMT-7)