March 7, 2013
The way my family's health insurance works most of the time, we pay $45 per month for brand name pharmaceuticals that are on patent and $10 per month for drugs where the patents have expired and they've gone generic. So, the difference for maintenance drugs is $420 per year, which is not insubstantial.
Therefore, I look forward to the day when an old brand name drug goes generic. If I knew that a brand name drug would be patented for the next 10 years, which would cost me an incremental $4,200, I might have a serious discussion with my doctor about how much better the brand name drug sold by that moonlighting NFL cheerleader he likes is compared to the generic.
But, finding out when a drug will go generic is a hit or miss proposition, even with Google. The best site I found for one drug is a discussion forum for pharmaceutical sales reps where they bitch about when the company is going to lay them off when the drug goes generic. But even these guys (and gals) couldn't agree over whether the day of doom (for them, not me) was Christmas 2013 or Memorial Day 2014. Other evidence comes from firms' press releases for SEC purposes. But it's all very scattershot. And I'm a much better Google searcher than most pill consumers.
Shouldn't there be an official list somewhere of when each brand name drug will go generic and the contingencies that might delay it?
By Steve Sailer on 3/07/2013