Special Needs Dad 365

Seing Patients as People Instead of Dollar Signs
One of the ongoing debates regarding seizure medications and likely other types of medicines is brand vs generic. Livy has been taking Onfi, a brand name drug produced by the pharmaceutical company Lundbeck. There is a generic alternative available now and our insurance company has immediately switched us to it because it is less expensive.

Doctors and parents often have differing opinions about this topic. There have been studies conducted that show the cases of adverse reactions or increased seizure activity is minimal when making the switch. However, as parents who have been through transitions in the past and have been forced to change from both brand to generic and generic to generic, we have, without a doubt, seen negative effects in some cases.

Remaining on a brand name drug can be achieved in certain instances. Typically, it comes with a doctor’s recommendation as well as a bit of advocating. But that is not always a slam dunk. We were just told by a friend yesterday that her daughter has to fail three generic forms of the same med before the insurance company will allow her to switch back to the brand name. Their basically saying, “If she starts seizing again, she may have to go months before we will put her back on a medicine that was working.” I hope and pray they have no complications.

This is the type of issue for which I reserve my real, noticeable frustration. It’s one of those areas that get me going with a few, often times many, choice words. I understand the money game because that’s all it is. It comes down to profit, pure and simple. I hope at some point, medications will be less expensive. I look forward to a day when health care will be provided that takes into account a patient’s best interests and treats them like people instead of dollar signs.