Drug recalls up three times in 2009- Generic OTC’s have a store brand but prescription generics are brand-less

In 2009 drug recalls are up over three times the rate in 2008. While one generic maker/re packager Advantage Dose  accounts for about two and half times of the increase – it still appears that there is a 50% increase of recalls.Here’s what seems to be playing out for prescription generics.

  • As the great recession continues patients and doctors go for generics that are cheaper for prescription drugs.
  • Generic prescription drug  manufacturers ,on the other hand, are rushing with manufacturing  to get into the market as soon as patents expire.
  • There are some reports of shortcuts,imported content or outsourced production that might be affecting product quality as the intense pressure to cut costs continue.
  • The generic makers really do not have a brand name or equity to build or protect ( you remember your pharmacy but do you know the name of the manufacturer of the generic prescription drug that you bought?)

While the OTC drug (see the FDA Orange Book  here) , say equivalent of Tylenol or Advil can be seen on the shelves at Wal-Mart there is a great deal of brand responsibility (Equate is the store brand of Wal-Mart) that Pharmacy retailers like Wal-Mart  or CVS take by monitoring and controlling  their OTC generic suppliers.

Pharmacy retailers  do not need or have any oversight on prescription generic drug makers. They don’t own these generic prescription brands which are brand-less  in the consumers mind. So it is between the drug maker and the FDA, and the FDA seems t o have its hands full …..

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