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Generic ARV *Readers' comments welcomed*
Oct 13, 2012

Hi Doc,

I'm from a developing country and the government here subsidizes the cost of ARV. Currently, I'm taking 3ZT/ATC (twice a day) and Efavirenz (once a day before bedtime). I get these medicines for free. But since it's government-subsidized, what we get are generic medicines from India. One of my close friends told me that it's much better to take branded medicines because they're more effective. Is there any truth to that? Aside from the cost, is there any difference with the generic and branded ARVs? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

In general, many generic HIV medications are manufactured to US FDA standards, particularly those made by large Indian pharmaceutical companies. A concern that some have (though poorly evaluated or studied) is whether there are more frequent side effects or variability in the stated quantity of medication in each pill. I'm not necessarily a believer in the notion that brand name medication is inherently better than a generically manufactured equivalent.

*I'd welcome our readers comments on how they are doing with their generic medications*

If you're tolerating your medications well and your HIV viral load is undetectable, we can surmise that the medications that you're receiving are of good quality.

Hope that helps. BY



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