Question

insurance companies, adaps, medicaid, and medicare are no longer paying for valium because they say that diazepam is its equal generic equivalent. I have heard over the years from many octors and pharmeceutical people that their molcular structures may be different by even one electron? Shouldn't they be considered diferent drugs and as such shouldn't valium be paid for since it (diazepam), in effect if what i say is true, is NOT identical to valium?

Answer

Valium (Roche) and generic diazepam are exactly the same drug, but made by different pharmaceutical companies. The active ingredient is the same no matter who manufactures it, as long as the process has good quality control. In recent years, the FDA has exerted more careful oversight of the quality control process in the manufacturers of generic drugs (e.g. diazepam). For this reason, safety problems have not been a big problem with generics of late. Rarely, a generic manufacturer will use a non-active filler component that is different from the original brand name pills. Rarely, this may cause a reaction in a patient with a particular sensitivity or allergy. However, the same could occur with any medicine, brand name or generic.

In my own clinical experience, I have seen no patient who experienced any problem with generic diazepam in contrast to the brand name product, Valium.