Consumer Rights and Generic Drugs

by Elaine G.
(New Jersey)

Does a pharmacist/pharmacy have the right to deny a brand name medication when requested? I recently had this experience and was told by the pharmacist that the "government" dictates and makes these decisions.

This individual further stated that no pharmacy would honor my request. I of course had no problem filling the prescription elsewhere.

I would like to know if this is grounds for a formal complaint. If so, to whom do I write?

Thank you

Comments for
Consumer Rights and Generic Drugs

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Jul 13, 2011
Course of Action
by: GrannyGarbonzo

It is my understanding (I'm in Ohio) that if the prescribing physician writes the prescription using the brand name, then either the brand or generic may be dispensed based upon patient preference.. Insurance might not pay for the brand medication once a generic version of it becomes available, however, in that case the patient would have the option to pay for it directly if the brand is still desired. If a physician writes that the medication is to be "Dispensed as Written" or DAW, then the medication is to be dispensed exactly as written without substitution.

If the prescription is not written using the brand name, but only the generic name, then the generic must be dispensed.

To clarify this for your own state, you should contact your state board of pharmacy. They are there to protect the consumer and maintain standards for the pharmacies in your state. They also would be able to direct you to the proper channels to make a formal complaint should you choose to do so.

Best of luck to you & thanks for your question.

Jul 25, 2011
Laws regarding Brand vs Generic
by: Mimi

Ii Massachusetts, the law states the generic is to be substituted unless the prescriber writes D.A.W. or Brand medically necessary. In NH the patient has the right to make the final decision, but must sign the R stating which one they requested

Oct 01, 2011
Is this the correct generic name ?
by: Bingo

I read the top 200 drugs but I'm confusing the correct generic name of Minocin. The exact generic name is Minocycline HCL not "Nystan". And the exact generic name of Robitussin is Guaifenesin not "Cheritussin" .Please check all the correct generic names of the 200 drugs before they publish thru the internet. Because its really hard for the students to memorize and confused which is the correct generic name.

Reply (by Keith :

You are exactly right about the mix-up with those. Thanks for pointing that out and I have corrected those. Sorry if it created confusion. One of the best parts of having this online is being able to fix errors when they are found. The people who take the time to write and point them out are truly appreciated. Thanks for the help.

Nov 14, 2011
generic vs brand name drugs
by: Anonymous

Generics do not work as good as Brand name drugs. Generics only have to be 90% effective as the same Brand name. Americans should be able to get Brand name pills if authorized by a Doctor.
For example, with epilepsy pills, a brand name pill can do better and if you are having no seizures for years because of the brand pill, Americans should be able to keep them instead of taking generics and winding up having a seizure and ruining their life in not being able to drive or handle their own life.

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