Are generic and brand-name statins clinically equivalent? Evidence from a real data-base.
Eur J Intern Med. 2014 Sep 5;
Authors: Corrao G, Soranna D, Arfè A, Casula M, Tragni E, Merlino L, Mancia G, Catapano AL
BACKGROUND: Use of generic drugs can help contain drug spending. However, there is concern among patients and physicians that generic drugs may be clinically inferior to brand-name ones. This study aimed to compare patients treated with generic and brand-name statins in terms of therapeutic interruption and cardiovascular (CV) outcomes.
METHODS: 13,799 beneficiaries of the health care system of Lombardy, Italy, aged 40years or older who were newly treated with generic or brand-name simvastatin during 2008, were followed until 2011 for the occurrence of two outcomes: 1) therapeutic discontinuation and 2) hospitalization for CV events. Hazard ratios (HR) associated with use of generic or brand-name at starting therapy (intention-to-treat analysis) and during follow-up (as-treated analysis) were estimated by fitting proportional hazard Cox models. A Monte-Carlo sensitivity analysis was performed to account for unmeasured confounders.
RESULTS: Patients who started on generic did not experience a different risk of discontinuation (HR: 0.98; 95% CI 0.94 to 1.02) nor of CV outcomes (HR: 0.98; 95% CI 0.79 to 1.22) from those starting on brand-name. Patients who spent >75% of time of follow-up with statin available on generics did not experience a different risk of discontinuation (HR: 0.94; 95% CI 0.87 to 1.01), nor of CV outcomes (HR: 1.06; 95% CI 0.83 to 1.34), compared with those who mainly or only used brand-name statin.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings do not support the notion that in the real world clinical practice brand-name statins are superior to generics for keeping therapy and preventing CV outcomes.
PMID: 25200803 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]