How much cheaper are generics?
October 27, 2011 7:44 PM   Subscribe

How extreme is the price difference between generic antidepressants of various types and their non-generic counterparts in Australia, assuming one has a prescription and a medicare card?

I am trying to find this out by googling but all I get is a bunch of sketchy sites trying to sell me medication over the internet.

I am probably going to go back on antidepressants. The stuff I was taking last time (Venlafaxine) is not, to my knowledge, available as a generic in Australia. I am trying to work out whether the price difference in the long term is worth the risk of trying out something that is available as a generic, or if I should just go with something that I had a good experience with before. I know Venlafaxine works well for me, but if the price difference is going to be $20 a month or so, I'd probably experiment with the cheaper option first.

I will ask my doctor about this too, of course, but in my experience he has no idea about how much drugs cost.
posted by lollusc to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) doesn't show up what you need?
posted by kithrater at 8:13 PM on October 27, 2011

Yeah, that's giving me the price I would pay for Venlafaxine (as Effexor). But as I said, there's no generic for that. So I'm interested in whether, if I tried a different antidepressant, that DOES have a generic form, I'd only be saving a few dollars a month, or whether the price would be significantly different.
posted by lollusc at 8:17 PM on October 27, 2011

Actually, I'm searching that link for other ADs I've heard of, and for prozac/fluoxetine, for example, the difference only seems to be $5 a month. Thanks for the link: very helpful!
posted by lollusc at 8:25 PM on October 27, 2011

Yeah I was on a few different things over a period a few years back, a fizzy one and a green one, and the fizzy one had no generic and the generic of the green one one landed me a grand savings of like two bucks per script.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:28 PM on October 27, 2011

The US non-insurance price difference between the generic and not-generic versions of one of the drugs I'm on is $405 per month. It varies a tremendous amount by drug and changes over time - realistically I think if you want this kind of thing in a handy spreadsheet, you're going to have to search out all the names of all the SNRIs.

Also, are you really sure Effexor isn't available as a generic? Because it is in the US, India, and the UK.
posted by Fee Phi Faux Phumb I Smell t'Socks o' a Puppetman! at 8:40 PM on October 27, 2011

Yes, I am sure.

The link Kithrater gave turned out to be searchable by category, so you can list all antidepressants. It really looks like, no matter the type, the difference between generic and not is only a couple of dollars.

Thanks everyone!
posted by lollusc at 10:29 PM on October 27, 2011

You can get a bigger price difference shopping with a discount chemist than you can by going generic (eg Discount Pharmacy in Gowrie or Macquarie). Forget about getting out in less than half an hour if you go any time after 3pm, though.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:17 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just a follow-up in case anyone cares, generic venlafaxine is now available in Australia, and is listed on the PBS General Schedule. The prices to consumers shown in kithrater's link are maximums, shop around for the best deal.
posted by Ritchie at 3:11 AM on April 21, 2012

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