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

 

TV3 Video: Auckland Arts Festival Kicks Off

The Auckland Arts Festival kicks off March 4, with artists from New Zealand and all over the world on show. More>>

ALSO:

Te Matatini: Minister Applauds National Kapa Haka Festival

Education Minister Hekia Parata wishes the best of luck to everyone involved in this week’s national kapa haka festival, Te Matatini, in Christchurch. “Te Matatini showcases the very best of Māori performing arts talent. It’s a celebration of identity, language and culture at the highest level and I’m looking forward to being amongst it,” says Ms Parata. More>>

ALSO:

Kiwi Pride: Accolades For Film About Man Who Falls In Love With A Stick

A short animated film written and directed by New Zealand born Matthew Darragh has been selected for the Courts des îles, International Festival of Short Fiction Films. More>>

ALSO:

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news