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May 8, 1987

Cost and Price of Comparable Branded and Generic Pharmaceuticals

Author Affiliations

Poplar Bluff, Mo

Poplar Bluff, Mo

JAMA. 1987;257(18):2436. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390180053015

To the Editor.—  The recent article entitled "Cost and Price of Comparable Branded and Generic Pharmaceuticals"1 was a timely and extensive study of the questions surrounding much of the controversy regarding the role of the physician in cost-effective prescribing. The primary question addressed was "Are generic drugs less expensive than comparable brand name drugs?" The answer was "yes" for pharmacies and "sometimes" for consumers. The reported result is of concern to all of us who are concerned about the cost of medical care and medicines to our patients. In general, the public and physicians have been hoodwinked by the pharmacists, who have convinced state legislators to "trust them." Senior citizen-backed groups, third-party payers, and generic-medication manufacturers encourage substitution on the grounds of savings passed on to the consumer. According to Bloom et al, this is a promise that is not always kept.The physician's office is given a daily