News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


5 Questions To Ask When You Are Offered An Alternative Brand

30 MARCH 2012

5 Questions To Ask When You Are Offered An Alternative Brand Of Medicine:
Be Medicinewise Week 2012

NPS has released a new quick question guide for consumers designed to help them make a safe and confident choice between medicine brands.

Available on the NPS website, the 5 questions cover what consumers should ask their pharmacist when they are offered a different brand of their medicine so that they make the right choice for them.

New research from NPS* found that 74% of Australians who take prescription medicines were offered an alternative brand of one of their medicines by their pharmacist the last time they purchased it. Of those offered a choice, 72% accepted the offer and purchased the alternative brand while 25% stayed with the brand they were originally prescribed.

NPS Head of Programs Karen Kaye says that with changes to medicine pricing arrangements coming into effect this weekend, the cost to consumers of many medicines will drop and some brands may become less expensive than others.

“Many people will be offered different brands of their usual medicines and, for most people, cost will be an important issue,” says Ms Kaye.

“Ultimately the choice lies with the consumer but it’s important people know that if they are offered an alternative brand of their prescription medicine, it will be just as safe and effective as their original brand.”

Ms Kaye says pharmacists will only offer an alternative brand of a medicine if it is bioequivalent to — that is, it works exactly the same way as — the original brand.

“When the patent for a medicine expires, other companies are able to manufacture medicines containing the same active ingredient and dose as the original brand. This means both brands have the same effect on your body,” says Ms Kaye.

“For some people the benefits of choosing a different brand, such as a lower price, may not be worth the drawbacks, such as adjusting to a different-looking medicine packet. People with certain conditions or in certain circumstances may be advised by their doctor to stick with their original brand.”

Medicine mishaps with generic medicines often come about because people don’t realise that the new brand of medicine is intended to replace an existing brand. Keeping a Medicines List is one way to keep track of the active ingredient in each medicine you’re taking to ensure you don’t double up.

“If you are confused or unsure, talk with your doctor, pharmacist or health professional who can help work out which choice is best for you,” says Ms Kaye.

5 questions to ask when you are offered an alternative brand of medicine

1. Is it okay for me to choose a different brand of my medicine?
2. What are the benefits and disadvantages for me if I use a different brand?
3. Is there a difference in cost?
4. Which of my usual medicines does this replace?
5. What is the active ingredient in my medicine?

Information about making safe medicine brand choices is available on the NPS website at http://www.nps.org.au/bemedicinewise/brand_choices

People with questions about their medicines can also call the Medicines Line (1300 MEDICINE or 1300 633 424), Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm EST.

www.nps.org.au/nms2012

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news