As of April 3, 2009, generic Adderall XR is available in the United States. It is being made by Teva Pharmaceuticals. (You can review a news report about this here.)
What Does ‘Generic’ Mean?
When a medicine is first released – it is patented by the company that invested in the research to develop it. They have a certain number of years to market the medicine exclusively. After the patent runs out – the medicine can be created by other drug manufacturers – the ‘generic’ companies – generally at a significant discount.
The analogy here is ‘Kleenex’ vs. tissue.
Kleenex is a brand of tissue. It is only made by one company. However, tissue is made by many companies.
Using this analogy – Adderall XR is the ‘Kleenex’, and generic adderall XR is the ’tissue’.
Will it work the same?
The short answer is yes. Generic drug manufacturers are able to have a minor variation in how much of the medicine will be absorbed, but for most people, this will not have an impact. In my clinical experience, a small percentage of people are sensitive to the differences and may need to have the ‘brand name’ medicine only. If that is the case, the doctor needs to write a prescription for Adderall XR NO SUBSTITUTION. When the words ‘no substitution’ are there, it tells the pharmacist that only the original Adderall XR will do.
For further information on generic medicines in ADHD, please visit this article that I’ve written previously on this topic.
What Does This Mean for You?
If you have wanted to take a newer, long acting medication like Adderall XR – it just got cheaper.
If you have insurance to pay for your medication, then this is unlikely to matter much to you. If you have to pay for your medication yourself, then it may make a difference to you.
Please remember – this news just applies to the US, as Adderall XR has not gone generic in other countries – such as Canada.
Does this impact you? Share your thoughts and comments below.