Generic Drugs vs. Brand Name Drugs

Generic drugs are considered “just as good” as their more expensive brand-name counterparts—but, as one writer experienced, in certain circumstances their effects can be dangerously different.

By Michael Kennedy, Reader’s Digest Canada, September 2011 issue

Back in 2009, when I was a graduate student, I was studying late at the University of Western Ontario and suddenly realized that my prescription for anticonvulsant medication had to be refilled. One problem: I was going to Toronto for holidays the next day. I have epilepsy and without medication I am prone to seizures, during which I collapse and thrash violently. They last only a few minutes, but they’re not pretty.
I still had a week’s worth of medicine, but transferring the prescription to a Toronto pharmacy and then back again to London, Ont., is a big headache. So I called my regular London pharmacy to let them know I was coming. I was hoping the little stapled bag would be ready when I arrived.
No such luck. I sat down beside the dispensary at the back of the store and waited. When I was finally called over to the counter, the pharmacist greeted me with a concerned sigh. “Oh, I never like giving this one out.”

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