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Brand Name Benzodiazepine RX's
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Brand Name Benzodiazepine RX's

Hi all,

Do any of you fill you benzo scripts for the brand name only? I've been off and on clonazepam and alprazolam for the past two years and always used generic, but the other day I filled the brand name Klonopin instead and noticed quite a difference. I have insurance and the copay on my generic script is usually about $2-4 for the whole month and the brand name was over $200 WITH insurance.

Does anyone know of an insurance plan that covers these brand drugs to an affordable rate or any way to get a lower price on the brand name? I don't want to start an argument about whether or not generics are equivalent, I just have not responded well to the generics and have made the personal decision to not cut corners when it comes to my health, period. If I must pay that monthly, I may have to bite the bullet and say fine, but I've read of people who swear by filling only brand name xanax or klonopin or valium and their insurance covers it or they only pay about $50, much more reasonable. With xanax, its creator Pfizer has a subsidiary company Greenstone that makes a generic form of xanax which is literally identical and made by the same company technically. That's the generic I used when I was on Xanax and was fine with it because I knew it was made under the brand company's subsidiary company. Just not sure what to do here, I'll appreciate any advice! I have Caremark insurance by the way.
3 Comments Post a Comment
Hey Wake! Way to open a real can of worms on THIS forum, dude!
I say that while I'm ROFLMAO by the way.
But it IS a debate that I for one have been in way too many times to ever want to do it again. I'll leave that to other "newbies" who still have some energy left.
Some of the rules have changed since the last time I debated this question and probably the one that stands out the most is the stance many insurance companies now take about generics. If generics are available, that is all they will pay for.
I work in a major hospital here in Seattle and have many opportunities to speak with our staff of pharmacists. I have put them through the ringer about generic vs brand and every single one of them has assured me that the main chemical compound of any and every generic medication made in the USA must meet the EXACT same FDA approved chemical compound of the brand name. The ONLY thing that can be different is the "fillers."
The fillers do not alter the strength or efficacy of the medication at all.
Now, if you want to discuss meds that are brought in from Mexico or other non FDA regulated countries, then you're just asking for trouble in the opinions of the pharmacists I know. They also say that ordering meds from Canada is virtually the same as ordering them from the US as long as they carry the approval of "CIRP," which I KNOW are the incorrect letters but it stands for something like the "Canadian Institute of Regulated Pharmacies"  but is exactly the same as our FDA. You can obtain a list of these pharmacies on line and that med you pay $200 for so you can have the brand name, you can purchase it from Canada for an average of 52.4% LESS than here. And it's LEGAL. You just need to send your prescription to the nearest pharmacy and your meds are mailed to you.

Were the heck were we?

I use generic drugs whenever I can and have NEVER once believed there is a difference. Perhaps I am stupid to put my trust in the FDA, but I think you said you got Xanax generic and it was made by Greenstone. Yes, so is mine and if you have any doubts about the company manufacturing your generics, Google them, check the BBB, call the original BIG PHARMA to find out who and where they are made, hell, feel free to call the FDA itself. They work for us, ya know.

OK, now you've got me into the debate mood. I'm gonna go out to my husbands garage and get into it with him about small blocks versus big blocks! (AGAIN!)
Good luck
I feel like going through a Canadian pharmacy would be too much trouble. My doctor and I are filing an appeal to my RX insurance carrier to say that the brand is "medically necessary" so they'll cover it to a higher degree. I'm in the process of that right now but I've got about a month to figure out whether I'm going to save myself $200 and try to trust the generic, or buy the brand name again. Its just nice, a rare luxury for me to have a brand name medication of any kind and its the most important one for me. I trust the original maker very much. And here's my argument on the whole generic thing. Sure the FDA Tested a batch of each clonazepam generic maker's pills, but it has to be understood that not every single pill or batch can be tested. I've read about the whole leniency of the generic having to be within 20% as a minimum. This is quite a significant figure, and with all of the massive amounts of generics and pills being produced by teva and mylan and Actavis the big ones, there has to be error somewhere and I've read many cases where this has happened. Anyway. Don't want to start the debate! I just love having brand name for once and won't want to give it up. I "technically" can financially afford it, It just eats at me that the money could be saved or used elsewhere if indeed I'm wasting it by not trusting a generic.

I'll try calling Roche/genentech and seeing if they offer assistance for this medication. I couldn't imagine them not wanting to help people buy their brand name medication that costs retail about $400 for a one month supply that is 40 years old and has over a dozen generics available for it. If they're still making it, I would assume they're still expecting people to buy it.
Did you get a reply from Genentech?  They just went through almost a 4 month halt of production and probably lost some of their original patients to "TEVA" which seems to be the only brand close to the name brand according to some users (not myself).

I only use name brands because my insurance allows it and my Dr.'s advise me to if insurance covers it.  Mine does, a $3 difference between generic and name brands so it's a no brainer.

If your insurance will pay for it, their are private pharmacies that compound Klonopin into a sublingual (under the tongue) form. There are no extra ingredients or fillers.  I went on that for 3 of the 4 months Genentech halted production.  My insurance suddenly after 3 months banned me from the compounded but Genentech started to produce again 1 month later.

I've been on Klonopin  (with an SSRI or SSNRI once they came out) for 25 years.  The two in combination help me with what was severe panic attacks that began when I was in my early 20's.  Today, the medications with counseling keep me 90 % free of severe panic attacks.

Try Genentech, they might be helpful but pharma usually goes by income. If you don't earn a lot, you might be able to get it for a negligible cost or for free.  Good luck.
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