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Are generics as good as Pegintron and Rebetol?
Folks,

I have to drive 90 minutes, every two weeks, to a military hospital to to pick up my meds. It's becoming a drag. I just found out that I can get the meds from my local commercial pharmacy but that my military HMO (TRICARE) will only approve generic drugs. At the military hospital I can get brand name drugs but I have to drive 90 minutes round trip to get them.

Im an HCV 1b on week 13 of Pegintron and Rebetol and I don't want to switch to generics. I dont have a "real" reason except my gut feeling is to "stick with the plan" and not change anything for fear that an inferior generic drug may weaken my chances of SVR.

Are generics as good as Pegintron and Rebetol?

Your thoughts?
Thanks
br007
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Hi Bronx, hope you're doing well.

13 weeks already, huh! Boy, time flies when you're injecting poison into your body. :) So, how are things going? Did you get any PCR results in yet?

Regarding your question...

I'm sure I'll be corrected if wrong, but I believe Peg Intron does not have a generic. Frankly, I'd stick with the Rebetol if the only difference was a 90-minute drive every two weeks but only for the same reasons you prefer a brand name -- nothing scientific here. Just wondering, can't you get the pharmacist at the military hospital to overnight the drugs to you?

-- Jim
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I'm doing better. It gets rough sometimes but I'm still going to work everyday; my boss is great and lets me take off when I feel bad. The brain fog, hair loss, skin problems, and physical exhaustion are the worse sides I experience. However, when I stay hydrated and eat right (extremely difficult because only junk food tastes good to me) I feel ok.

This past week I got back on the milk thisle, started taking a multivitamin, cut the junk food, and immediately felt stronger and better. Now if I can only get back to the gym. I've actually gained weight (6lbs) from all the inactivity due to exhaustion and weakness.
  
I wish the military pharmacy would overnite the drugs to me but they won't. I guess I'll be driving :)

Take Care
br007
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As far as I know there is no generic form of peg-interferon, there is only peg-intron and pegasys. I don't like taking generics either, I know it's just in my mind. There is a form of generic ribravin that replaces rebetol and copegys, but I would probably be too obsessed to take it.   Peace
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Good to see you posting.  Don't know about the rx's - I think Jim and Kalio and Cougar are Right.  But I too want to know if you got a 12 week PCR?
friole
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how ya doin? sounds like your in the midst of the tx pits. hey, can your dr write the prescription out for "more" than 2 weeks so perhaps you can cut down your trip to every 4 weeks or something? i get three months at a time the way my dr writes my scripts...i'm not sure how it works with at a military base though.

i wouldn't worry about the generics though. they have to meet the standards or they wouldn't be aproved.
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If you can't get the 12-wk done through your insurance, you may wanty to consider paying for it yourself. The 12-wk pcr is the benchmark; you at least need a 2-log drop, undetectable would be great. The results of this test determines alot about your tx protocol.   Good Luck
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I can't believe they won't do  a 12 wk PCR? that is standard protocol.  theirs is substandard treatment at best. I guess Revenire had a point...
drs use the 12 wk PCR to decide whether to stop tx in some cases, since less than two log drop reduces the chances of SVR with the standard 48 wks. Some use it to go longer than the standard. Maybe you need to go to your PCP or is he also at the vet hospital?

I am going to my PCP for my yr PCR, since I don't see the GI until next March.
You have to get that test!
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All,

Want to know the real shame? I'm active duty (since mid-70s)and stationed some distance from a major military medical facility with a gastro specialist. I've led a clean life of dedicated service to our country. I'm confused about how I may have contracted this disease. The only way I could've got HCV was to contract this monster during the mass jet gun innoculations in basic training. OBTW: I just did a visit to one of our basic training sites and they no longer use the jet guns to administer innoculations to basic trainees.

Thanks for the advice, I'll talk to my gastro doc in the morning.  

br007
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A few of you asked about a 12 week PCR, again that something the military doesn't do. I'm ok with waiting until week 24 at which time they'll take a PCR and determine if I can pursue  further tx.
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