Did any of the generics actually contain the active ingredient we need? That is the part I can't get an answer about...I went around and around with the US National Institutes of Health yesterday-as expected they gave me the pat answer saying generics are the same. How do we know that if no one is testing them? In theory they are the same-but in practice? Good luck to everyone -I hope the UK is better than the US about ferreting out this kind of stuff
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I know this is an old thread but I'm posting in case other find this- as I did -searching for Letrozole information. I know there are a lot of problems with inert ingredients in prescriptions but how do we know we are really getting letrozole itself if we take a generic? In the US, it is the Food and Drug Administration who should be responsible to test incoming drugs, but my understanding is that they've given that responsibility to the generic drug companies themselves (who obviously have a vested interest in using cheap alternatives and a very real interest in doing incomplete tests or screwing with the data). I hope the UK has a better system for testing generics. Here is what I've found so far, but it's obviously just the beginning. This 2019 testimony from the head FDA shows just how many gaps there are in the process of getting foreign generic manufacturers tested. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/securing-us-drug-supply-chain-oversight-fdas-foreign-inspection-program-12102019#ftn12 If you read between the breezy overview of how great the FDA is you can see they don't have enough inspectors, don't test often enough (avg 2 yrs) and they take a very long time to submit a letter asking for improvement (a few years) In the meantime we are still taking these drugs. There are some companies that do independent research, such as the Valisure, the one that found generic wellbutrin 300 mg did not perform and notified the FDA to pull it. (that took 5 years) I don't know much about them but plan to investigate. They might be able to provide a list of ingredients for meds which I know someone on this post was working on. If they can't here is an option at least for the inert stuff: You can ask your pharmacist for a list of the inactive ingredients in your medication the next time you refill your prescription. Our pharmacists are happy to help you find an alternate formulation and answer any questions you might have. Also, this website allows you to look up your current prescription’s inactive ingredients when you input its national drug code (NDC) in the search bar. The NDC consists of 11 digits and can be found on the medication label. You may need to ask your pharmacist for this information. In sum: trying to figure this out on your own really stinks but Valisure is here to help. I have no affiliation with them. I'm just trying to learn what's going in to my meds. So far it doesn't seem like any authority is doing so. There is also consumerlab but it looks like they mostly test supplements. I will be looking into this as well. (the big argument against supplements is the the FDA hasn't approved them....it looks like they also aren't really watching prescriptions either). The other option is to get Femara via your health care system or self pay-which is really really expensive-here it's $700 a month. The next best option is to get generics that are made in Europe because there are fewer problems than other parts of the world (the FDA testimony linked above gives the stats on each area).....but just how you'd know where the drugs came from is beyond me. You can call me kooky, but I think as consumers of Letrozole and other drugs we have a right to know BOTH if they are safe (as in not contaminated) and if they are effective. It's not like we are taking letrozole for a headache. Good luck to all of you on the other side of the pond.
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