After advising caution regarding generic medications for ADHD here and here, I’m now hearing that Concerta is recently available in a generic form in the United States. (A generic has been available in Canada for some time, but it is a different type of generic.) The question: Does this generic perform as reliably as Concerta? Maybe. In fact, it might be the exact same medication.
The details are hard to come by in a field swimming with lingo: co-licensed product, single-source generic, authorized generic, bioequivalent and clinically equivalent. My conversations with pharmacists and the manufacturer’s scientific liaison leave me thirsting for straight talk with no tricky qualifiers. Internet searches and first-person reports in online forums are made murky by the apparently marked difference between Canada’s generic Concerta and that in the U.S.. (Forum participants seldom specify where they live, presumably because most don’t realize there is a difference between the two countries’ generic versions of Concerta.)
The U.S. generic for Concerta is methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets. It is a co-licensed product by exclusive agreement — that is, a deal between the original manufacturer (Ortho-McNeil) and the pharmaceutical marketing arm of Watson Laboratories. Read the rest of this entry »