Authorized Generic Concerta Update

Generic Concerta update

Having trouble receiving the authorized generic Concerta—again?  Well, you’re in the right place.

As the first reporter to cover this issue from the beginning, I will be clear: It’s a rapidly changing story. What was true yesterday might not be true tomorrow.  These cheap (in price and content) generics have sent pharmacies and insurance companies scrambling.

Summary Update July 2021

Briefly, the new  2017 White House administration named a a new FDA chief, Scott Gottlieb, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He over-rode FDA scientists’ concerns about bioequivalence. That is, do they work as well as the brand? Next thing we know: a clown car of non-bioequivalent Concerta generics.   Pharmacies and insurance companies have no doubt been scrambling to adapt to this enormous and unexpected change.

This came as a huge disappointment to Concerta users. It also disappointed me and others who worked hard to lobby the FDA to downgrade the first two inferior generics — successfully. We thought that war was over.

Adding to the complexity: Much depends on your particular insurance pharmacy benefit. Some people seem unaware that different policies from, for example, Blue Shield, have different benefits.

Much also depends on your willingness to self-advocate.

Please note:   For 20 years, I’ve accepted no pharmaceutical funding or support of any type, and that includes from the makers/sellers of Concerta!  That makes me one of the very few ADHD “names” online who has rejected this type of funding. It’s called a conflict of interest.  And you might be shocked at the covert ways in which this is playing out with one particular company.

Readers say I am saving them many hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

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Basic Background:

Several years ago, many Concerta users became accustomed to receiving the authorized generic (the brand marketed at a generic, at generic pricing) through a company called Actavis.  That is no more.

That marketing agreement expired. Then, Actavis was purchased by Teva.  And, the company released its own Concerta generic.

Shortly after, Concerta manufacturer Janssen made the authorized generic available through a subsidiary, Patriot Pharmaceuticals. For more than a year, Concerta users were able to ask their pharmacy to order the Patriot authorized generic via an “exception process” (explained below). A few drugstores reliably honored the request. Now, fewer do, as the clown car of cheap Concerta generics keeps flooding the market.

For the most part, these generics resemble generics of Ritalin or Ritalin LA —and perhaps cost pennies to make, in China or India. By contrast, brand Concerta uses a sophisticated, proprietary technology, OROS™, from a company called Alza.  The medication (methylphenidate) is released at a steadily ascending rate. With the generics, it tends to be uneven, in jumps, starts, and stalls—with a fast drop-off.

Your Best Options Now:

1. Try to get the authorized generic (from Patriot Pharmaceuticals) from your local or mail-order pharmacy.

This involves your prescribers cooperation in specifying using specific information, detailed below (How to Specify).

Tips:

  • Do not ask the store if it carries the authorized generic. Keeping a medication in stock and ordering it are two very different things.
  • If the pharmacy says it cannot fill your prescription, ask that an Exception Process be ordered for you.
  • Still trouble?  Call Patriot at 215-325-7676 

Please know that this process worked for about a year. It is getting harder and harder to find success that way. But it’s worth a try.

2. Check out the new Concerta savings card

Check the terms at the link.  It works with your insurance.  Does not apply in MA or CA.

3. Try another stimulant option

There are many choices within the methylphenidate category, including Ritalin, Daytrana, Aptensio XR, Metadate CD, Methylin, Quillivant XR, Jornay PM, Adhansia XR, Cotempla, etc..

How to Specify the Authorized Generic Concerta

How long will this remain useful?  It’s anybody’s guess. Subscribe to stay tuned — and check back often.

I accessed this information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine “Daily Med” website.

1. Name:

Methylphenidate HCl Extended-release tablets

NOTE!  You cannot rely just on the name. All the Concerta generics (including the authorized generic) are named this!

2. The Identifying NDC Code:

Each FDA-approved medication is assigned a code, the NDC (National Drug Code). Here are the numbers for Concerta’s authorized generic (the last two numbers vary by dosage):

  • 10147-0685-1 – 18 mg
  • 10147-0688-1  – 27 mg
  • 10147-0686-1  – 36 mg
  • 10147-0687-1  – 54 mg

My advice is: Ask your prescriber to specify the NDC number.

Note: If your pharmacy says that number is not coming up in their database, they might instead find the 11-digit billing code.

For example, the 36 mg replaces one hyphen with a zero.  That is, NDC 10147-0686-1 has a billing code of NDC 10147068601. For the full details, click here: NDC 10147-0686-1 METHYLPHENIDATE HYDROCHLORIDE.

3. Distributors:

What if you’re told, “But we can’t find that”? or “It’s on back order”?

Maybe the store or chain simply doesn’t want to order it for you.

To check, call the Patriot Pharmaceuticals customer service at 215-325-7676 

4. How Should The Prescription Read Exactly?

No ironclad answers here. Your prescriber might have a preference.  The pharmacy might, too. Try to get a straight answer from the pharmacy before speaking with your physician.

In the best of all possible worlds, the script need only contain the name of the drug!  But again, in the case of Concerta generics,  they are ALL called Methylphenidate Hydrochloride (HCI) Extended-release tablets. That makes it critical to establish which one.

To be crystal clear, the prescription should read something like this (for example, for the 36 mg dose):

Methylphenidate HCl Extended-release tablets, 36 mg, NDC 10147-0686-1 ONLY

The “ONLY” at the end indicates, “do not substitute with another generic.”

Note: Some readers report that their pill bottles exclude the HCl (which stands for hydrochloride). If the pills say “Alza,” don’t worry about it.

5. Pay Attention to the “No Substitutions” Box

 

Tricky Bit! Your prescriber must pay attention to the prescription pad checkbox that indicates “no substitutions” or “dispense as written”. Generic substitution laws vary by state.  

If that is checked, pharmacists typically take that to mean, “do not substitute a generic.”  That means you might get brand—at brand prices—or one in the clown car of new generics.

But what happens when the prescriber checks that box AND specifies a generic but uses the name of the brand (Concerta) instead of Methylphenidate HCI, etc. ? Anything can happen!  That’s why you might follow my suggestion above. But again, ask your pharmacist first!

If you use a home-delivery pharmacy, consider attaching a note detailing clearly your request. Maybe print and include this blog post.

See Tip: Home Delivery of Prescribed Stimulant Medications

Another Tricky  Bit!

Some of the true generics utilize osmotic technology. But that is not the same as Alza’s patented OROS (osmotic-controlled release oral delivery system).  Many pharmacists do not know this! You might need to tell them! (But don’t count on them believing you.)

6. What Should The Pills Look Like? Look for alza

 

NOTE: Look before you pay!

The pills should look exactly the same as the brand—because they are the brand.  It’s easy. Look for the word alza on the pill.  Not there? Then it’s not Concerta brand or authorized generic.

 

 

7. Must the Pharmacy Fill the Prescription As Written?

It depends on your state laws.  Again, check this  article in U.S. PharmacistGeneric-Substitution Laws

8. What Should The Label Look Like?

Before you leave the pharmacy or open a home-delivery bottle, look for the label.  It should say  Patriot Pharmaceuticals.

Do not pay for the prescription until you check the label and the pills themselves.  The Concerta brand/authorized-generic should look like the pills in the photo above.

If All Else Fails, Purchase the Brand

If that’s you, check your pharmacy benefit’s cost for brand Concerta.  Or check out savings from GoodRx.

But Do Investigate Home-Delivery Pharmacy Benefit

Does your insurance pharmacy benefit include a home-delivery pharmacy? If so, consider using it!

Again, home-delivery pharmacies typically have bigger inventory.

Yes, this is legal!   Read more here:  Tip: Home Delivery of Prescribed Stimulant Medications

Still Confused?

If you remain confused about generic vs. authorized generic and the historical changes, you might find the following information useful.

  1. Learn to please stop asking for Actavis/Teva; you’ll be in for an unpleasant surprise.
  2. The authorized generic is the brand; it’s simply sold as a generic. See how to request it above.
  3. The authorized generic (brand marketed and sold at generic prices) is now distributed by Patriot Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Janssen, Concerta’s manufacturer.
  4. Look for  the infographic at the end of this post.
  5. Consider getting the brand until the dust settles, if it’s affordable (check out new savings program at Concerta’s website). Or, one of the other methylphenidate medications
  6. Always look before you pay! 
  7. If you participate in an ADHD-related forum or another type of group,  share the link to this blog post.  I’m seeing  sites repeat tidbits from this post but out of context and without updates—and therefore unhelpful and also violating copyright.

First, some background and context.

 

Once Again: What Is An Authorized (or Branded) Generic?

To recap: Do you know the difference between “authorized” and regular generic medications? Many readers seem to remain confused.

I understand the confusion.  Even many pharmacists and physicians can’t tell you the difference. Moreover, many also insist that regular generic medications are “exactly the same” as brand. They are not. Consumer beware.

I’ve covered it before (again, the roundup of blog posts)  but here are the basics:

1. Authorized generic (aka branded generic):

In fact, the authorized generic is the brand. It’s only marketed and sold as a generic.

This typically happens when a brand drug patent nears expiration. Another company strikes a deal with the brand manufacturer: “We’ll delay introducing our regular generic if you agree to let us sell your brand as a generic.”

That’s what happened with Concerta several years ago.  The manufacturer, Jannsen, agreed to let a company named Watson sell its brand Concerta as an authorized generic. As time went on, Watson became Actavis and Teva purchased Actavis.

Newsflash: Now Teva-Actavis has it’s own generic

(but it’s not the authorized generic). 

If you are used to associating “Watson/Actavis/Teva”

with the authorized generic, please know that is outdated information.

In the past, the prescriber could specify on the prescription: “authorized generic Concerta/Watson, etc.”—or simply OROS.

OROS™ is Concerta’s patented extended-release technology, owned by a company called Alza and used by Janssen in making Concerta. (The osmotic-controlled release oral delivery system, OROS, takes the form of a rigid tablet with a semi-permeable outer membrane and one or more small laser-drilled holes in it.)

Since then, for a variety of reasons, it’s gotten more challenging.  Pharmacies are consolidating and are less “consumer-oriented.”  Some of the new generics use other osmotic technology. As a result, some pharmacists mistake “osmotic technology” for the proprietary OROS™ from Alza.

2. True generic:

This is what most of us regard as a generic medication.  It’s a cheaper alternative to a brand medication.  It is made by a different company, not the brand’s manufacturer.

Even though it is often claimed to be “exactly the same” as the brand, it is not. Unfortunately, pharmacy insurance benefits increasingly force consumers to accept these generics or pay a very high cost for the brand.

For more details, read Consumer Q&A on Concerta Generics

Gina Pera authorized generic Concerta how-to

Now Concerta Generics From At Least Nine Companies

Over the last two years, the situation has grown even more confusing. At least seven (SEVEN!) companies released Concerta generics since July 2017 [Note: there are even more now, in 2021]:

  1. Manufacturer: ACTAVIS LABS FL
    Approval date: March 21, 2018
    Strength(s): 54MG [AB]
  2. Manufacturer: ACTAVIS LABS FL
    Approval date: March 22, 2018
    Strength(s): 18MG [AB], 27MG [AB], 36MG [AB]
    NOTE: Actavis used to be the distributor for the authorized generic Concerta; now it has its own generic.
  3. Manufacturer: ALVOGEN PINE BROOK
    Approval date: November 30, 2018
    Strength(s): 18MG [AB], 27MG [AB], 36MG [AB], 54MG [AB]
  4. Manufacturer: AMNEAL PHARMS
    Approval date: February 1, 2018
    Strength(s): 18MG [AB], 27MG [AB], 36MG [AB], 54MG [AB]
  5. Manufacturer: ANDOR PHARMS
    Approval date: April 24, 2019
    Strength(s): 18MG [AB], 27MG [AB], 36MG [AB], 54MG [AB]
  6. Manufacturer: ANI PHARMS INC
    Approval date: July 14, 2017
    Strength(s): 18MG [AB], 27MG [AB], 36MG [AB], 54MG [AB]
  7. Manufacturer: MYLAN
    Approval date: October 21, 2016
    Strength(s): 18MG [AB], 27MG [AB], 36MG [AB], 54MG [AB]
  8. Manufacturer: OSMOTICA
    Approval date: July 28, 2017
    Strength(s): 18MG [AB], 27MG [AB], 36MG [AB], 54MG [AB]
  9. Manufacturer: PAR PHARM
    Approval date: July 15, 2019
    Strength(s): 36MG [AB], 54MG [AB]
  10. Manufacturer: ASCENT PHARMS INC
    Approval date: September 3, 2019
    Strength(s): 18MG [AB], 27MG [AB], 36MG [AB], 54MG [AB ]
    NOTE: The Ascent generic (distributed by Camber) uses a barrell-shaped pill. It seems designed to fool consumers/physicians/pharmacists that this generic uses OROS. It does not.

 

authorized generic Concerta
Note red arrows for two points of identifying the authorized generic Concerta: NDC code (last two numbers will differ by dosage) and distributor (Patriot Pharmaceuticals)

Who Sells Authorized Generic Concerta Now?

Patriot Pharmaceuticals, as shown on the label above.  Patriot is a subsidiary of Concerta manufacturer Janssen.  The corporate office tells me there is no planned termination date for this arrangement. Meaning, it should continue …… until it doesn’t.

Patriot Pharmaceuticals — Authorized Generics ONLY

Just in case visitors also don’t understand the term authorized generic, the website spells it out:

Patriot Pharmaceutical Generics are authorized for sale to trade customers by the NDA holder of the innovator product. [Note: NDA stands for New Drug Application.  It the vehicle through which a company proposes that the FDA approve a new pharmaceutical for sale and marketing in the U.S.. Not a new generic of an existing brand, a new pharmaceutical altogether.]

The entire Patriot family of products is made by the same manufacturers that are approved in the NDAs of the innovator products.

The same qualities you relied on in the innovator pharmaceutical products during their branded lifecycle are now available in Patriot’s authorized generic line of products. [A branded life cycle means “before the patent expires”.]

Summary

I know this is a lot to take in!  (It was a lot to research and attempt to write—and constantly re-write—about clearly, too—not to mention field reader questions.)

I hope these quick points clarify things for you. If not, leave a question in the comments section.  Readers who have followed my suggestions precisely seem to have a higher success rate.

Many argue that without that delivery system, it cannot be a reasonable substitute for brand Concerta. My blog readers played a critical role in asking the FDA to reassess the first two Concerta generics (the FDA ended up downgrading them as not being close enough to Concerta). Here is my report on that issue: Consumer Q&A on Generic Concerta

Please Consider Filing an FDA MedWatch Complaint

To be frank, I see no hope of reversing this horrible decision by FDA Chief Gottlieb (he left after about 17 months, back to the rightwing think tank, the American Enterprise Institute.  We are stuck.

Still, it’s worth putting it on record. As I mentioned, the FDA was incredibly responsive to our complaints about the first two Concerta generics, but that was a different White House administration.

If you have tried one of these true generics and found it significantly inferior to brand/authorized-generic Concerta, please consider filing a MedWatch complaint with the FDA. You can download a PDF or file directly online.

 

The first version of this post appeared 6/19/19

Thanks for reading!  Please leave a comment below. It’s easy.

I answer all questions as quickly as possible.

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Simply  begin your Amazon shopping expeditions in the box to the right. Just bookmark it as “Amazon” and a small portion of your purchases will help to defray my costs. Thank you!
Gina Pera 

869 thoughts on “Authorized Generic Concerta Update”

  1. Thank you for the article and leaving the comments open! I thought I would share my October experience for anyone having trouble (central TX for reference)

    About two weeks ago I asked CVS to order the patriot brand ahead of them getting my prescription, and got an “okay it’ll be here Monday”. Looked online before picking it up, and they filled my no sub. prescription with Camber.

    CVS says patriot is on backorder
    Costco can only order actives (sp?) right now
    Walmart can try to order, but they can not guarantee it will come in
    Sam’s club was unable to order
    Walgreens had it in-stock and can order it (apparently, waiting for my doctor to cancel CVS Prescription and send it to Walgreens so I can pick it up, could be another camber situation)

    1. Hi Bree,

      Thanks for that report.

      Walgreen’s has historically been the most reliable in this regard. More recently, reports came in that Walgreen’s could not order it.

      Of course, the thing we have to remember is that even pharmacies with a national presence might have different regional policies.

      As I’ve said before, home-delivery pharmacy might be the best bet now.

      good luck!

      Gina

  2. Has anyone heard about the Lannett generic of Concerta? Lannett apparently bought Kremers/Kudco and from my research could not provide the data the FDA needed for bioequvalence. They are now providing the Andor generic (which they say is AB rated). Am asking as I know someone who recently have an issue with the Lannett generic. Lannett was allowed to keep manufacturing the BX rated version of Concerta until 2019.

    1. Hi Anne,

      In 2014-15, Kansas City pediatrician Kristen Stuppy, MD, and I led the effort to get the KU and Mallinckrodt genericis downgraded.

      We succeeded. You can read the details here.

      https://adhdrollercoaster.org/tools-and-strategies/victory-concerta-generics-downgraded/

      Then the Trump White House appointed an FDA chief who overrode FDA scientists concerns about generics of complex-delivery system drugs, such as Concerta’s OROS.

      It’s all a hot mess. The main thing to know: NONE of the generics have OROS — Alza’s patented osmostic delivery system.

      That means they do not work like Concerta. Period.

      Some people might like some of these generics better than Concerta. But that’s an entirely different issue.

      g

  3. I have had success at getting Patriot at Costco.
    First, I took the information regarding how the prescription should read (Methylphenidate HCl Extended-release tablets, 36 mg, NDC 10147-0686-1 ONLY) to my prescriber and told them to write exactly this on my prescriptions.
    Next, was Costco. Costco has an authorized generics program. https://www.costco.com/authorized-generics.html?&reloaded=true. I contacted the pharmacist. He didn’t believe me at first, but then I pointed him to the Costco site above and he said he could order it for me.
    It’s been about 4 months, and both my daughter and myself have been able to get the prescription filled by Patriot. We pay generic prices with our insurance.
    It was a bunch of hoops. But, it has been working so far.

    1. Kudos, Sarah!

      I’m glad my work has helped you save money and hassle!

      I’ve found that the Costco availability varies by region. It’s always good to ask, though.

      And folks should know…you needn’t have a Costco membership to use the pharmacy.

      g

  4. hi, thank you for the info. I get a refill and it’s by Camber and there is no alza on 18mg Pills, do I have the right to refuse it?

    1. Ravi, As long as you are still at the pharmacy and have not yet paid for the prescription, you can say “No thanks” and walk out. Once you’ve paid and left with the meds, they are generally not returnable, even if unopened.
      Keep searching until you find a pharmacy that will fill the prescription with the Authorized Generic, which WILL have the alza imprint on the tablets.
      Best of luck!

    2. Hi Ann,

      Thanks for helping Ravi.

      I just want to clarify….if his prescriber has not specified the authorized-generic, and if his insurance requires a generic, it might be all he can get.

      But of course, you always have the right to refuse to accept before paying for it.
      g

  5. All was good until last week Walgreen pharmacists told me that this medicine is on back order. They ordered one bottle but was never shipped. It has been 2 weeks and I am told the manufacturer is not sending it, are not obligated to send the order.
    Also I am told that because it is a control medicine, they can not order a supply even though they know there are regular patients who need it every month. The pharmacist told me every time they have the prescription they can order it and not in advance.
    The question is: is this medicine on back order? If yes, why and for how long?

    1. Walgreens in CA state they cannot get it anymore. They have little remaining stock in their warehouses. The pharmacist was able to provide 18 and 36 mg tablets instead of 54 mg to keep with patriots, however, by next month this won’t be possible. I tried calling patriot and could not get ahold of anyone. Walgreens says they can still order it, but it’s not getting stocked in their warehouse so I was told Walgreens May phase it out.

    2. Thanks, Michele. Yes, our local Walgreen’s couldn’t get the 54 mg, either.

      I suppose the store can’t afford to keep subsidizing. Big Generic is making out like thieves. A pox on all their cynically inferior-generic houses.

      g

    3. Is is only a shortage? I think something is happening at Walgreens.

      My Walgreens had been special ordering the Patriot “generic” pill for my daughter and even had her name on the bottle in the back. We would check carefully when we picked her prescription up and sometimes it was filled with whatever generic they had but they would quickly fix it. Two months ago, they had a sticky note on her prescription bottle that indicated there were only 20 pills left in “her” bottle, and corporate would no longer let them order more even if the specific NDC was prescribed. So, we had the pediatrician write her last prescription for those precious 20 pills. Perhaps corporate won’t let Walgreens order Patriot any more.

      Now what? We can’t be at the mercy of whatever generic the pharmacy has that month. I’m going to try to get the pediatrician to allow me to do Express Scripts though I expect resistance. But its exhausting to chase around the medication each month – call the dr. to send prescription – check carefully at pharmacy – call and call the pharmacy to make sure its the RIGHT generic… I’m thinking that although Concerta works for my child, it may be time to change medications.

      We cannot use the coupon that Jansen provides because my insurance will NOT Pay for the name brand at all, so Walgreens couldn’t apply the coupon. (No insurance coverage – no discount).

      Agree – a pox on the pharmacy manufacturers with their dangerous “equivalent” medications. (And thank you for this website. It has been so helpful to my Concerta Chase.)

    4. Hi Monica,

      Yes, as I commented previously, I imagine Walgreen’s has been taking a huge financial hit helping customers get the authorized-generic for so long. It’s really not the store’s fault. It’s been the best pharmacy, consistently, throughout this years-long mess.

      But there are limits to financial losses.

      We’re about to try Express Scripts, too. I phoned yesterday, and it seems not to be a problem. We’ll see, though!

      And, of course, the terms of insurance policies do vary.

      It definitely might be worth you trying one of the newer MPH formulations. The thing is, when Concerta works, it works very well, and it’s hard to substitute.

      But you might not know until you try something else. Maybe over a 3-day weekend…or just a weekend. Might be enough to get an idea.

      Good luck!

  6. I went through a process with my pharmacy changing manufactures every month. The first month was from Patriot… yay! Then the second next month was Northstar… I threw a fit and asked for name brand and I was told it was $150 so I gave up and accepted that it was OROS technology which I see now is not true OROS. The next month the gave me Lanett Comany…I paid for it without checking and didn’t take any of these cheapo pills. The next month they gave me Ativis/Teva…but I checked first and asked for them to order Northstar and they said it was not available to order. After reading this I called back and asked to order Patriot and they agreed and said it would $15! Lets see if it comes in.

  7. I was told Price Chopper corporate wont allow ordering the brand generic no more where I live NE PA. I have to chase the 36mg brand generic of Concerta. PC had it for a while and now no. It happens all the time.

  8. Dear All ( and in particular Ms. Pera),

    Thanks so much for this site and all the information.

    We are in California, and trying to get the Authorized Generic 54mg for our 13 year old. I have called a number of pharmacies and they can get the find and procure the Authorized Generic (having the NDC number is key, and they look it up by the 11-digit billing code, the number without the dashes and the 0 added before the last number). But here is the issue, if anyone has any insight into this, I would be most appreciative:

    When they run the insurance as a test, it says it is covered at a $10 co-pay. But whent he script actually comes in, they say it is $350. The pharmacy I really trust says even at $350 they are going to lose money.

    So, how does this work? The pharmacy has to purchase it first, then bill the insurance, and the insurance only pays $10? So the pharmacy has to pay up front?

    Second question: I can find a GoodRx coupon which LOOKS like the correct pill is being covered (they have images accompanying the coupons). BUT, only the 36mg and 18mg are the “alza” stamped pills. Will my doctor be able to get us 30 of the 36mg and 30 of 18mg so that we get the correct 54mg dosage (the picture for the 54mg is NOT an “alza” pill)? Is this ok to do?

    Finally, maybe those GoodRx images of the pill that go with the coupons are not indicative of what you will get, if anyone has experience with that, please do let me know.

    Thanks to everyone,

    Daniel

    1. Hi Dan,

      It seems you are in that No Man’s Land — between the pharmacy and the insurance company. It might be helpful to try escalating this with your pharmacy benefits manager. Ask for clear answers and for a contact person you can call upon as situations arise.

      This is a rapidly shifting landscape. The sheer number of these inferior Concerta generics flooding the market has kept insurers and pharmacies scrambling.

      Sorry I can’t explain “how it works”. I suspect it varies widely according to the pharmacy and the type of insurance coverage you have. Chain pharmacies have certain deals with distributors that smaller pharmacies might not have. Then again, smaller pharmacies might have more choices in what they can order.

      I do know that details matter. If your prescriber is submitting the script electronically, you’ll want to be sure it specifically requests the authorized-generic in the correct language for the pharmacy’s ordering system.

      It’s too bad you live in California and cannot use the Concerta.net brand savings program. 🙁

      Have you tried using a home-delivery pharmacy? Their supplies are typically greater, with greater cost-efficiencies.

      Re: Your question about GoodRx coupons Technically, it is okay to combine the 36 mg and 18 mg in order to achieve the 54 mg that works best for your daughter.

      There might be two issues:

      1. Depending on your insurer, this might be seen as two stimulants daily and thus not allowed.

      2. Concerta’s outer coating starts dissolving immediately. It might be that the two pills together (30mg and 18mg) produces a different response than 54mg pill does.

      re: GoodRx: Sorry, I’ve never used GoodRx. I do notice that this GoodRx article is a bit dicey on authorized generics being bioequivalent. So if you’re able to speak to someone there, you’ll have to use very precise language.

      https://www.goodrx.com/blog/authorized-generics-what-are-they-exactly/

      I hope this helps. Good luck!
      g

    2. Thanks Gina,

      I appreciate it. I am going to meet with my local pharmacy today to see what is up. If there is any relevant information that you have not already covered, I will post it to the group.

      Take care,

      Daniel

  9. Thank you so much, Gina.

    I started on Concerta last year in September. In the beginning, it gave me my life back. I was able to shower everyday, brush my teeth, floss, make my bed. I excelled at work, got promoted, repaired relationships with my parents, everything in my life was looking up! That is, until November when I lost health insurance and had to switch from Walgreens to CVS.

    I was switched from the authorized generic to trigen’s subpar generic, and my life completely fell apart. I would not go into to much detail, but it sent me into a very dark place. CVS refused to order the authorized generic for me! Even though my doctor had specified that the authorized generic was medically necessary. I ended up needing to switch my doses from one 54mg tablet to two 27mg tablets twice daily to help spread out to doses. It was hell! I felt high on trigen. I absolutely loathed that feeling, particularly as someone who is in recovery (2 years!).

    Recently, thanks to your article, I was able to FINALLY get the authorized generic (through Walgreens) by specifying the NDC number on the prescription. And, it has been a night and day difference! I am back to my real self, thank god. I don’t think I would have been able to get the proper generic had it not been for this very informative article. So, thank you again. So many people in my life did not take this seriously, and I began to feel like I was going mad. Thank you for helping all of us.

    1. Aw Ethan, you went and made me tear up. 🙂

      Seriously, thank you. This is exactly why I do this work, completely self-funded. No pharma support of any kind.

      If it weren’t for hearing from readers such as you, I would have run out of steam a long time ago.

      I’m so happy for you — and kudos for persevering, despite no one else supporting you in your perceptions.

      I see the opposite a lot in my local Adult ADHD group. Folks acting like they are beggars when it comes to treatment, taking what they can get and not asking for better. They’ve gotten used to being pessimistic about change.

      I work to empower them, because dang, it’s your life that matters. Not some MD’s or PhD’s ego!

      Rock on, Ethan!!

      g

    2. How were you able to convince Walgreens to special order it and run it through your insurance without charging an arm and a leg? I called about 7 different pharmacies. Nobody was willing to special order the authorized generic with the exception of a super small local pharmacy that is charging me $314 cash price. They are losing $90 and it’s ridiculous that they won’t just charge me the difference.
      I called Costco and they apparently special ordered the drug for someone, but won’t ever be doing that again. I’m assuming they lost money. It’s just incredibly unfair.

    3. Hi Paulina,

      Did you ask the pharmacy to “special order” it? If so, that might be the problem.

      As I write in the post, the idea is to request that they “order it as an exception process.”

      Might not make a difference.

      Yes, it feels very unfair when a White House administration allows this sabotage of medication that people need. Elections have consequences.
      g

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