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A conversation with Dr. Jerry Avorn about drugs and the drug industry

October 28, 2011
  • By Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

About the Author

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Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Pat Skerrett is the editor of STAT's First Opinion and host of the First Opinion podcast. He is the former editor of the Harvard Health blog and former Executive Editor of Harvard Health Publishing. Before that, he was editor of … See Full Bio
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January 11, 2012

Drugs are the extreme poisoning which kills human body slowly.As a result asian country they not fully rely on drugs for medicine. Thanks

January 9, 2012

Genetics are allowed to differ in their active Pharm product by a significant %. eg, if brand contains 5mg of a product, generic may contain 4.8mg ,and still allowed to label as 5mg. I stand to be corrected

Philip Gott
November 30, 2011

I just saw Dr Avorn on PBS say that all generics are equal to the brand name and believe he is doing a disservice to us with such a broad statement. I know from personal experience that this is not true. I have been taking Toprol XL for high blood pressure for ten years and when given a generic by a new pharmacy, I soon realized that it wasn’t working as well, endangering my life. My understanding is that the binder in the generic is different and unregulated and that the full absorption of the active ingredient was inhibited by the inefficient binder. I switched back to the brand name and my blood pressure returned to healthy levels.
I salute Dr Avorn’s efforts at counter-detailing but some generics are just not equivalent. I also doubt seriously if drugs manufactured in China get the same scrutiny as those made in the US (if there still are any).

Philip Gott
Greenville SC

November 30, 2011

I beg to disagree with the general statement that generics are as good as brand names. I have trigeminal neuralgia and am on tegretol XR for it. Works great. My pharmacist substituted the generic carbamazapine xr and all the pain came back. My brillian neurologist said that some medication are difficult to make… this being one of them. Maybe the good doctor needs to see which generics work and which don’t. Or is that another book?!?

colleen gilgenbach
November 30, 2011

This guy DOES NOT know what he is talking about. I experienced first hand the difference between Welbutrin and a generic brand when my insurance refused to pay for Welbutrin. It took me a while to figure out what was wrong with me and why I was crying and depressed. I went back on Welbutrin at my expense and was fine again.

November 17, 2011

I am not certain the place you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend a while finding out much more or figuring out more. Thanks for excellent info I was in search of this info for my mission. Great content material and great layout. Your website deserves every one of the positive feedback it has been getting.

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Madhu - the Bengali translator
October 31, 2011

Although drug remains to be an important aspect to our everyday living but it has its advantages and disadvantages as well. All drugs have its own side effects. Sometimes it can become a real killer of your life. And also in certain part of the world the medicine does not come as it gets branded. People at certain times get the substandard product of it. So it is better to avoid using drugs at abundance.

October 30, 2011

Genetics are allowed to differ in their active Pharm product by a significant %. eg, if brand contains 5mg of a product, generic may contain 4.8mg ,and still allowed to label as 5mg. I stand to be corrected.

October 30, 2011

drug is a slow killer.that’s why in some asian country they not fully rely on drugs for medicine


October 29, 2011

Statins have prevented enormous amounts of sickness and death from heart disease; they are fantastic drugs. But it’s also probably fair to say that we are not as good as we should be about studying side effects that don’t land people in the hospital—or kill them. I think we have a good handle on statins and rhabdomyolysis, the muscle breakdown that can be fatal.

medicine in india
October 29, 2011

this is gokul from india.
the drugs plays a vital role in human life.
ya me too have a question on generic drugs
how are the differ from non generic ?
could you pls explain ?

October 29, 2011

Well said Sir. But in our part of the world (West Africa) generics MAY not be as good as the branded. We get substandard products from India and other places.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

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