Many people in this world have wool drawn over their eyes. In some instances, this wool only causes their opinion to be skewed because they cannot see the big picture. When it comes to the field of medicine, this lack of vision causes the patient to get screwed over. I've hit on this before, but I'm going to discuss it again...because it really pisses me off.
In chemistry, many compounds are composed of isomers. Isomers have the same molecular formula but are structurally different. Basically, they are shaped a little different. Sometimes, the isomers have the same results in the body. Other times, the isomers of a compound have different effects altogether. Still yet, some isomers cause side effects and the other isomer gives us the intended result (or one isomer is active and the other is completely inert). All compounds are either levorotatory or dextrorotatory (Called l-DRUG or d-DRUG *or*Â (-)-DRUG and (+)-DRUG, respectively). Levo compounds rotate polarized light (in a polarimeter) counterclockwise and dextro compounds rotate the same light clockwise.
I'm not going to get into the difference between constitutional and spatial isomers, cis/trans isomers, or R and S notation. Mostly because I will get out of my realm of knowledge quite quickly.
Most drugs out on the market are racemic mixtures. This means that they are combinations of d- and l- isomer. Most drug companies have fucked the common man by doing some shady shit (thereby pulling the wool over everyone's eyes).
Citalopram (Celexa) is a racemic mixture. Only the Dextro isomer is active. It was a heavily used drug indicated for major depression, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Forest spent millions ensuring that every doctor had a big breasted woman peddling the drug to them praising it. It *was* the best available. Until the patent ran out. Then, it was no longer good enough. Now, the inactive isomer has been removed. Escitalopram (Lexapro) is now the best drug available if you ask the crooks at Forest. It is also indicated for depression, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.
Here's some more (all with the exact same story -- new drug is "better"):
Venlafaxine (Effexor)Â ====>Â Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) -- Wyeth
Loratadine (Claritin) ====> Desloratadine (Clarinex) -- Schering
Cetirizine (Zyrtec) ====> Levocetirizine (Xyzal) -- Pfizer for Zyrtec/Sanofi for Xyzal
Omeprazole (Prilosec) ====> Esomeprazole (Nexium) -- Astrazeneca
Methylphenidate (Ritalin, et al) ====> Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin) -- Novartis
Dexchlorpheniramine, Dexbrompheniramine =
Chlorpheniramine, Brompheniramine -- Various Manufacturers
Albuterol (Proair, Ventolin, Proventil) = Levalbuterol (Xopenex) -- Various/Sepracor
Imipramine (Tofranil) = Desipramine (Norpramin) -- Different Manufacturers
Nortriptyline (Pamelor) = Protriptyline (Vivactil) -- Different Manufacturers
In every case where the same company is involved in the new drug, no improvements were made. Of course, the manufacturers would lead the unwitting MDs to believe that side effects were cut down, efficacy was increased, and the old drug causes users to grow an extra appendage on their neck. So, "everyone needs to be switch NOW! In fact, here's a stack of preprinted prescriptions for you to sign and hand out to your patients."
I say fuck that. No one ever asks me about these new drugs, well, now I'm saying it. All this shit does is cause more work for me. How, you ask? Has anyone out there ever gotten a Xyzal to go through? Hell no you haven't. Why not? It's too fucking expensive because the same drug is now available OVER THE COUNTER. So, I have to call the MD and have them get a PA. Then, some nurse wastes time calling the insurance company. Then, the patient has to pay a $45 copayment for a drug available on aisle 9 for $5.99/15 tablets. These drug companies are out of control -- as profit margin continues to shrink and edge closer and closer to 2%, these fucking guys are finding new ways to nickle and dime us indirectly. The time wasted, along with the crap repayment from this drug of equal efficacy, is merely another way to bone us.
Make a stand with me. You get a script called in or brought in for these damn drugs, call the doctor. Get it changed. They don't answer or you leave a message, change it anyway. Make it a "fill--call." If they say no, call the doctor a stupid motherfucker then overlook it. He'll never notice or know.
He's too busy with his head buried in some drug rep's tits pushing the new DRUG OF CHOICE FOR GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER -- levoparoxetine or desmethylfluoxetine or some other bullshit.