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Controversies in Neurology
November 2009

The Value of Specifying Brand-name Antiepileptic Drugs

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation:Division of Pediatric Neurology, Barrow Neurological Institute/St Joseph's Medical Health Center, Phoenix, Arizona.



Arch Neurol. 2009;66(11):1415-1416. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2009.232

The patent lives of most of the newer-generation antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have either expired or come close to expiration. This is despite occasional attempts by the pharmaceutical industry to extend patent lives by creating a variation of an existing compound/AED, often in the form of an extended-release version, eg, Lamictal XR and Keppra XR. Inevitably the question of generic substitution of our patients' AEDs arises, usually prompted by the paying insurance companies whose main interest is the bottom line, though it is not infrequently prompted by the (self-paying) patients or their families. This brief commentary will not attempt to be a comprehensive review of this topic, which have already been written.1-4