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The Impact of Generics on MS Treatment

Medications used to treat MS have all been developed relatively recently, are still, which means that the majority of them are still patent protected. Until these patents expire, no generics can be manufactured and brand name medications are the only option. As the patents for these extremely expensive medications expire, more and more generic options will become available and the treatment landscape will undoubtedly change. We have already seen this happen with Copaxone, which is manufactured by Teva. There are currently multiple generic versions of the Glatiramer Acetate injection available, and insurers have made many patients switch off Copaxone on onto generics. A generic version of Ampyra, a medication used to increase walking speed and lower extremity strength, will also be available shortly. Since we will be seeing more and more generic options, I wanted to take a look at the differences between brand and generic medications, and how they will impact MS treatment.

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thank you for the post. interesting reading. Since I have walking problems this article really helped.

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You are welcome! I thought that the generics were supposed to be 'identical' to the name brand so didn't think there should be a difference and cause problems to the patient but I was wrong as some 'additives' can cause problems for some patients.

Jessie

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Another good article Jessie

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Every time the pharmacy switches from one generic to another it takes my body over a month to adjust. I hate that they can make changes without asking!

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I don't know how they can do that! I'm sorry your body reacts that way StacyHayward to different generics :(

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All of my generics have switched manufacturers every month (since last fall) which has thrown me into a tailspin. There are formulation/absorption differences. Not sure how to get out of this mess. -Kris

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Sorry to hear that kris1973 I would talk to your neuro and having them contact your insurance company and requesting no generics because your body seems to be allergic to something in the generic formulas and they cause you problems with your MS?

Jessie

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Thanks bxrmom - that’s what I needed to hear. It’s so hard to have no common sense! I have always had medication sensitivy issues and I do think it’s related somehow. I sent a message to my pain clinic who handles my meds. I also need to follow up on the baclofen pump referral from my neuro. I hope I am a candidate. I am wondering if a pain pump would be better. I have always had a very high pain tolerance...I went home the same day I delivered all 3 of my girls...and even within hours of having a total hysterectomy!😱 (that was the worst decision I have made in my life). Thanks again Jessie. -Kris

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You are welcome kris1973! Please keep us updated! It sounds like it is definitely related!

Jessie

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Good information bxrmom , thank you.

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You are welcome Morllyn

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My neuro told me the generic only has to be as 35% as effective as the brand name? I cant say its a direct quote from him but it was something along those lines

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Bxrmom, it's Fancy1959. What an interesting article to read and a very good post to get people thinking about their MS therapy options. I can't emphasize enough that you just highlighted the beauty of our chat room. With almost 2,000 members now there is so much we can learn from each other. Different people find different articles that are directly related to our MS care and therapies. Then they share them through our chat room links for the entire family to benefit from. Thank you so much for being active in our chat room and for sharing such Vital Information. You are a living representation that together we are stronger! Keep up the Fantastic work! Fancy.

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Thanks so much Fancy1959! When I come across information that others can use that effects us all, I LOVE to share!

Jessie

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Thank you so much, Jessie, for sharing this article! I have been on Copaxone since being diagnosed in 2014 and so far I am pleased with it's efficacy. My neurologist has recently told me not to let my insurance switch me to the generic, and if they tried, she would intervene. So far, they have not tried to switch me but I'm sure they will. I currently have insurance that covers injectables, but that will go away in a few years when I hit Medicare age. At the time, if Copaxone is still the DMT that works for me, I may have to look into the generic for financial reasons!

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elaineinqueens You are welcome. I was on Copaxone after I was first diagnosed until last year until I just didn't want to do injections anymore as I was running out of spots to do injections even though I was on the 3 times a week injections. I was on Medicare and still on it. I also received extra help from my state to pay for it and only payed like $14/month for the first 3 months of the year and then my deductible for the year was met and it was free the rest of the year. Hope your insurance won't make you have to go off of it and that your doctor will back you on it. Please keep us updated.

Jessie

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The times are changing. There are many, many generics that have been delayed because the name brand manufacturers are/have appealed the expired the patents (Teva for example - the manufacturer of Copaxone -delayed things for 3 years all the way to the US Supreme Court). That’s when they switched every possible patient over to the 3x/week 40 ml injections - and why they gave me mine for free. When can it not be about $$$ but our health? Okay - sorry for venting - this is the work I used to do - thanks for listening. -Kris

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