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Re: Maybe you'll think I'm nuts but…

Re: Maybe you'll think I'm nuts but…2010-08-04T19:20:47+00:00

The Forums Forums Medication Maybe you'll think I'm nuts but… Re: Maybe you'll think I'm nuts but…


Patte Rosebank
Post count: 1517

Concerta may be bloody expensive, but there are ways around this.

The one way that you should absolutely AVOID, is getting the generic form of it.

In most cases, generics and branded drugs are pretty much the same. Concerta, on the other hand, is VERY different from its generic form, thanks to its unique, complex delivery system. Health Canada is currently investigating this, and may soon declare that generic and branded Concerta are NOT the same. So you need to make sure that you get the actual branded Concerta.

In most provinces, even if you aren’t on a drug plan, a pharmacist can and will substitute a generic, UNLESS you have your doctor HAND-WRITE “no substitutions” on the prescription. If it’s pre-printed or rubber stamped, or put there by any other mechanical means, it doesn’t count.

Even if it is hand-written on the prescription, be sure to verify that you did indeed get actual branded Concerta. The pills look very different from other capsules or caplets. They’re tiny, hard cylinders (shorter than a standard pill or caplet), with slightly rounded ends, and one end has a tiny, round, indentation in it. They also have the word “alza” plus the dose number printed on them. If the pills you get don’t look like this, then they’re not actual branded Concerta.

Now, for the right ways to help with the cost:

If you’re on a low income, apply for your provincial drug benefit plan. In Ontario, you can get the necessary information, and even download the form, at http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/drugs/trillium.html

Once you’re on the plan, it will cover the cost of most of your prescriptions. However, in the case of drugs for which a generic version exists, most plans will only cover the generic form. If you want the branded form, you’ll have to pay the difference. For Concerta, that’s quite a steep amount, but Ortho-Janssen (the maker of Concerta) has a free patient assistance plan, which covers the entire amount that isn’t covered by your provincial plan. If you don’t have any drug coverage, Concerta’s plan will still cover part of your cost. Just ask your pharmacist about it when you drop off your prescription. He/she should have some of Concerta’s patient assistance cards. The pharmacist enters the information into the computer, and a few seconds later, you’ll be approved. Result: You’ll get your branded Concerta at low- or no- cost to you!