Let’s talk about Generic Medication.
Specifically Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Medication Equivalents. I was diagnosed with ADHD years ago. For most of that time I was prescribed Ritalin. The active ingredient in Ritalin is Methylphenidate.
Since Ritalin is an older ADHD medication. It has been available in generic form for years. I’ve always taken the generic form. The generic form is known as Methylphenidate or also Methlyn.
Because the cost difference between the brand and generic is significant, I have always opted for the generic. There are numerous different manufacturers that make the generic version.
One day I didn’t go to my regular pharmacy, but went to a small mom and pop pharmacy and got into a conversation with the pharmacist.
I’ve always found the pharmacist’s in the chain drug stores maybe because there governed by many policies and protocols are restricted to be as candid.
That said the pharmacist in the mom and pop offered me a slight discount on the brand and I went back to her a month later and told I noticed a noticeable difference. The efficacy was superior.
I always wondered how the generic could be so much cheaper and still be essentially the exact duplicate of the Brand (real thing). Truth be told in order to be approved by the FDA there not required to be the exact same product.
There are certain requirements they must meet so your getting a product that produces similar therapeutic efficacy, but not necessarily exactly the same.
I noticed differences between different generic brands, which brings me to Concerta.
Concerta is a long acting version of Methylphenidate. Concerta is advertised to have a therapeutic effect consistently over a 10-12 hour period. As Ritalin therapeutic effect lasts only 3-4 hours.
The benefit over Concerta is avoiding the up and down experience of taking Ritalin 2-3 times a day. I find this very beneficial, additionally only 1 pill a day is required over 2 or 3 with Ritalin.
There have been different versions of Long acting Ritalin, Ritalin LA for example but none last as long and give the steady stream of therapeutic benefit as Concerta does.
Concerta secret is a patented delivery system know as “OROS”. This mechanism is what differentiates Concerta from other long acting variations of Ritalin (Methylphenidate)
Since Concerta is now available in generic form know as Methylphenidate ER, several manufacturers offered a generic version of concerta, but Actavis version was generally accepted to be an exact duplicate.
Not anymore as Actavis was purchased by Teva and purchased again. Now there are more players. While many of the generics are considered AB generics which in FDA venacular means a duplicate.
However this is not necessarily so, as in case of Concerta, which in reality is just a long acting Methylphenidate, not a new medication. It’s angle was in it’s delivery system.
As other manufacturers have gotten permission to distribute Methylpenidate ER, questions have been raised to there efficacy. Especially in light that many of these manufacturers do not employ the same delivery system as the manufacturers of Concerta, known as Oros.
I’d be curious if anyone has any experience with these medications and have noticed different efficacy levels.