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Epilepsy Behav. 2007 Aug;11(1):46-52. Epub 2007 May 29.

Current approaches to the use of generic antiepileptic drugs.

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  • 1Swiss Epilepsy Center, Bleulerstrasse 60, CH-8008 Zürich, Switzerland. G.Kraemer@swissepi.ch

Abstract

Generic substitution is encouraged as a cost containment strategy for the management of health care resources. However, in epilepsy, the consequences of loss of symptom control are important, and antiepileptic drugs have narrow therapeutic indices. For this reason, generic substitution may be problematic, and certain health authorities have excluded antiepileptic drugs from overall policy recommendations on generic prescribing. The absence of bioequivalence data among generic forms and the relatively broad criteria for bioequivalence with the branded drug allow differences in drug exposure to arise that may be clinically relevant and necessitate monitoring of plasma levels when switching formulations to avoid loss of seizure control or emergence of side effects. Management of these issues carries a significant cost, which should be weighed carefully against the cost savings acquired when purchasing the drug. Both physicians and patients have a right to be informed and approve before pharmacists make a generic substitution or switch between generics.

PMID:
17537678
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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