Pharmac backs down on epilepsy drug brand switch

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Pharmac backs down on epilepsy drug brand switch

RNZ

RNZ

lamotrigine 150mg pills
Pharmac stopped funding brand name anti-epileptic lamotrigine on 1 October, switching to generic Logem
Pharmac has backed down on a controversial drug brand switch affecting patients with epilepsy and mental health conditions after three people died fol

Comments

But have they REALLY backed down? They've simply continued on their one way street, and given lip service to increasing access by extending the exceptional circumstances criteria. Not really a back down, or even a side step. Even when they are told by those in the know, that their course of action is unsafe, and puts patients lives at risk, they go on anyway. In-vitro does NOT equal in-vivo . And as we have seen before with other medications, the effects of excipients DOES have an effect on the overall pharmacological and pharmacodynamic effects of the drug. The drug in the test tube is not the same as the drug in a human body.

Phamac simply  repeats their  Mantra - and it has been the same tune for decades -  it goes something like this ;" This drug is bioequivalent , it shouldn't pose a risk to patients - and it will save us truck loads of money .."

Looking at a piece of paper with graphs showing red and black lines closely  following each other over a bioequivalence chart might satisfy a bureaucrat - but it  won't satisfy a patient who experiences a  significant  variation in dissolution rate...

During the manufacture of a tablet variations in  compaction rates , binders and fillers all contribute to a product that can have variable parameters compared to the original .

And we all know that the context in which a medicine is consumed  plays a major role - give a patient a well packed , embossed and distinguishable medication - or a plain , white generic medicine in a poorly packed box - which one will work  ?

Its time that we started looking at keeping our psych medications - drugs that act on the brain and its delicate chemistry - and rarely touch the  listed meds that are doing their job..