Military Institute of Aviation Medicine, Poland
Title: Switching branded drugs to generics - is it safe ?
Dr Marcin Kopka is a neurologist and wellbeing expert in neurological care. He works in outpatients clinic and Department of Neurology Millitary Institute of Aviation Medicine in Warsaw (Poland). In 2012 he defened a doctoral thesis entilted "The reseach of the relationship between the bioelectrical activity of the brain and the heart". His research intrests concentrated on epilepsy and migraine.
Statement of the Problem: Nowadays, as costs of treatment are increasing, generic drugs can be an attractive cheaper alternative to original medicines. Approved generic drugs are equivalent to their branded alternatives in terms of active ingredients and pharmacokinetic measures used to ascertain bioequivalence between these drugs. The bioequivalence studies should be performed in small groups of healthy adult volunteers. They cannot smoke cigarettes or take concurrent medications. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: In order to present the most relevant articles on this topic, the literature review encompasses materials issued up to the end of 2017. Findings: Although in many aspects generic drugs may be attractive cheaper alternative to original medicines, in this respect, epilepsy is unique due to serious consequences of seizure recurrences. Many clinicians share their concerns for switching original to generic drugs in people with epilepsy. According to surveys and case studies published in literature, subjects may experience greater seizures frequency or/and increased side effects when switching between original and generic drugs. Many scientific societies oppose switching drugs in people with epilepsy, especially when treated with the lowest and highest doses. Conclusion & Significance: Although generic drugs offer significant reduction of treatment costs, the decision to change treatment should not be just a routine, but rather should be considered case by case after an in-depth analysis of many factors.