Authorized Generic Concerta Medication Update

 

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

Quick Summary Points:

As the first person to cover — and advocate on — this issue since 2014, I can tell you:

  • It’s a rapidly changing story. What was true yesterday might not be true tomorrow.
  • I keep it organized best I can, but if I cut details—sure enough, comments will ask for them!  So, I happily risk Google docking this post for “too long.” (It favors short and superficial!)
  • This slew of cheap generics (in price and content) has sent pharmacies and insurance companies scrambling—only intensified by COVID demands..
  • Concerta pills use a patented delivery system (Alza’s OROS). It’s what makes Concerta distinct from the other methylphenidate-class choices.
  • The authorized-generic is the brand; it’s only marketed as a generic. The other Concerta generics are mostly “bare bones”.
  • If you’re confused about generic versus authorized-generic, you’ll find the details below.
  • Much depends on your particular insurance pharmacy benefit. Even within the same insurance provider (e.g. Blue Shield) different policies bring different benefits.
  • Don’t count on the average prescriber understanding this issue. But do offer a link to this blog post—or print relevant info and provide.
  • If you have a home-delivery pharmacy, that might be your best bet. See link in story below.
  • It might be that one of these generics suits you better than Concerta. That isn’t the issue.
  • The issue is that these generics do not perform as brand Concerta does. That’s a big problem for people who respond best to Concerta’s sophisticated delivery system (OROS).
  • If you participate in an ADHD-related forum or another type of group,  please share the link to this blog post.  I’m seeing  sites repeat tidbits from this original reporting. But it’s out of context and without updates—and therefore unhelpful and also violating copyright.

In This Post:

  1. Your best options now — overview
  2. Specifying the authorized-generic for Concerta on the prescription – step by step
  3. Consider home-delivery pharmacy, if you have that benefit (yes, it’s legal for stimulants!)
  4. Consider brand; there’s a Concerta coupon now
  5. Background: how this clown car of Concerta generics burst onto the scene
  6. Whatever happened to the “Actavis” generic?
  7. Now — Concerta generics from at least ten companies!
  8. Still confused about generic vs authorized generic?
  9. Consider filing an FDA Medwatch Complaint

First: Please Support This Reader Service

    • For seven+ years, I’ve taken the lead in first lobbying the FDA to downgrade the first two inferior generics and, since 2017, guiding readers on procuring the authorized generic. Others might “borrow” my work. But I put in the time and effort.
    • For 20 years, I’ve accepted no pharmaceutical funding or support of any type.  That includes from the makers/sellers of Concerta!
    • That makes me one of the very few ADHD “names” who has rejected pharma funding. Specifically, the quid pro quo kind that the major pharmaceutical funder of ADHD “advocacy” requires. It’s called a conflict of interest.
    • You might be shocked at the covert ways in which this is playing out with that one particular Pharma.
    • I minimize advertising — because it’s too distracting!
    • If my self-funded work has saved you thousands of dollars and much consternation, please consider a donation of any amount via Paypal — or Venmo. You can also shop via my Amazon link to right—and support this blog cost-free to you! Thank you!

1. Your Best Options Now — Detailed

Here’s an overview of the best current strategies. You’ll find more details about how the script should read in the next section.

—Aim for Authorized Generic (from Patriot Pharmaceuticals)

This involves getting your prescriber’s cooperation, detailed below (Specifying Authorized Generic Concerta).

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. (This is working less reliably now than it did but it’s worth a shot.)
  • Still trouble?  Call Janssen 1-800-631-5273. Ask for its subsidiary, Patriot. 
    • The representative can sometimes intercede with a pharmacy. 
    • The list of pharmacies said to be carrying the Patriot generic might or might not be helpful. Just because a pharmacy carried it one point doesn’t mean it is now. Moreover, it doesn’t mean that your particular insurance coverage will qualify you for it.

—Patriot Pharmaceuticals: Authorized Generics ONLY

Just in case Patriot website visitors also don’t understand the term authorized generic, it says this:

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”.]

—Check out the new Concerta Savings Card

If you can swing the brand Concerta, that makes things much easier!  Check the savings-terms at the link.  It works with your insurance.  Note: Does not apply in MA or CA.

—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..  One of these might work better for you than Concerta. Or they all might be worse.

For the most part, you just don’t know until you try.  To be clear: These all contain the same active ingredient, methylphenidate (MPH). The only difference is in how it’s delivered to the system (how much, how quickly, etc.). And that can be a huge difference.

2. Specifying Authorized-Generic Concerta

This is the information you can share with your prescriber for your next prescription. It should help to specify the authorized-generic Concerta on your next prescription.  Here’s the short version, followed by the details:

  1. Name: Methylphenidate HCl Extended-release tablets
  2. NDC Number:  for example: 10147-0685-1
  3. Specify distributor: Patriot only
  4. How it might read overall (example): Methylphenidate HCl Extended-release tablets, 36 mg, NDC 10147-0686-1 ONLY (or, better, Patriot generic only)
  5. A special note for electronic subscriptions:  Sometimes the prescriber will specify all this in the electronic prescription but it’s not visible to the pharmacy.  Ask the pharmacy to look for the special instructions box or to print the prescription; that typically reveals full instructions.
  6. The “no substitutions” box. This is tricky. See more details below.
  7. Check the pills before you pay for them!

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

Here’s more details on the 5 steps above. I accessed this information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine “Daily Med” website.

—Name:

Methylphenidate HCl Extended-release tablets

NOTE!  You cannot rely solely on the name. All the Concerta generics (including the authorized generic) share this name!

—NDC Number:

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 and “Patriot generic only.”

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.

—Distributor: Patriot

What if the pharmacy tells you, “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 

—How Should The Prescription Read Exactly?

No ironclad answers here. Your prescriber might have a preference.  The pharmacy might, too. Tip: 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 (or Patriot generic 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.

—Tricky Bit #1: Generic substitution laws vary by state.  

Your prescriber must pay attention to the prescription pad checkbox that indicates “no substitutions” or “dispense as written”.

If that is checked, pharmacists typically take that to mean, “Do not substitute a generic.”  That means you might get brand—at brand prices.

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 to the paper order form detailing clearly your request.

See Tip: Home Delivery of Prescribed Stimulant Medications

—Tricky  Bit #2: Some generics utilize a different type of 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.)

—Look Before You Pay!

What Should The Pills Look Like? Look for alza 18, 27, 36, 54 etc 

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. Simple as that!

—Must the Pharmacy Fill the Prescription As Written?

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

—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. You can typically see this through the semi-translucent brown bottles.

3. Investigate Home-Delivery of Concerta

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

Again, home-delivery pharmacies typically have bigger inventory. Plus, you might be able to get a 60- or 90-day supply. Imagine enduring this misery only 6 or 4 times annually—instead of 12 times!

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

4. Consider Brand Concerta

Don’t forget to look into brand. Janssen is making brand Concerta more accessible in some ways, including a savings card.

5. Background: Why This Clown Car of Concerta Generics?

When the first three Concerta genetics arrived, I started hearing from readers. Lives were going off the rails — too many to attribute to personal issues. Something larger was going on.  I share some of their stories here: Sound Off – Users of Downgraded Concerta Generics

What does “downgraded Concerta generics” mean? It means that I spoke with the FDA and, as a result, opened a formal MedWatch Complaint.  Then, readers followed through on reporting their adverse experiences on these generics.   The FDA came through for us in 2014:  Victory! Concerta Generics Downgraded

Unfortunately, the new administration that moved into the White House had other plans.  Donald Trump named a a new FDA chief, Scott Gottlieb. He was and is now, having left the FDA a short time later, a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. He over-rode FDA scientists’ concerns about bioequivalence. That is, do these generics work as well as the brand versions?

This is especially critical when it comes to medications with novel delivery systems, such as Concerta’s OROS, patented technology from Alza. That’s why the FDA downgraded the original three generics. FDA scientists were pushing for new guidelines. Instead, they were simply ignored.

Next thing we know: A clown car of non-bioequivalent Concerta generics flooded the market.   Pharmacies and insurance companies have been log-rolling in response this enormous and unexpected change. But one thing’s for certain: This been a huge gift to “Big Generic.” (Check the end of this post for links to my various posts on that topic.)

Reader comments sometimes blame the “government” or the FDA for this. That’s a mistake.  We can lay this outrageous situation squarely at the feet of one administration.  (Don’t like me “bringing politics into it”?  Sorry, these are the facts!)

This turnabout came as a stunning disappointment to Concerta users. We thought that hard-won war was over.

Consumers are still able to procure the authorized-generic Concerta. But the landscape continues to shift.

6. Previously: Concerta Brand and Actavis Generic

Many years ago,  Concerta users became accustomed to receiving the authorized generic. That is the brand marketed as a generic, at generic pricing. It was marketed by a company called Actavis.

How did this come about? Concerta manufacturer Janssen made this deal to forestall Actavis introducing its own Concerta generic. That marketing agreement expired several years ago. A generic manufacturer named Teva later purchased Actavis. Then it 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, largely thanks to my guidance, 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, even if it meant losing money. Walgreen’s was a particularly good “corporate citizen.”  But obviously, Walgreen’s could not continue taking such a financial hit, compounded by COVID.  If you’ve been getting the authorized-generic from an independent pharmacy, it’s might have lost money providing it.

For the most part, these generics resemble generics of Ritalin or Ritalin LA. These brand drugs already lack Concerta’s sophisticated delivery system. So you can imagine how little they resemble Concerta.  They perhaps cost pennies to make, in China or India. In factories increasingly shown to be poorly regulated.

By contrast, brand Concerta uses a proprietary technology, OROS™, from a company called Alza.  FDA guidelines on producing brand drugs are highly controlled. 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.

7. Still Confused by Generic vs. Authorized Generic?

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

  1. If you’re still asking for Actavis/Teva, you risk 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 below.
  5. Consider getting the brand until the dust settles, if it’s affordable (remember the new savings program at Concerta’s website). Or, try one of the other methylphenidate medications
  6. Always look before you pay! If the pill does not say Alza, it’s not Concerta (brand or authorized-generic)

Again: What’s An Authorized (or Branded) Generic?

I understand the confusion.  Even many pharmacists and physicians can’t tell you the difference. Even worse, 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):

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.”

As mentioned above, 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. 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. It is owned by a company called Alza and licensed 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. In some cases, this matters little. When it comes to sophisticated delivery-system drugs, it can matter a lot.

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

8. Now Concerta Generics From At Least Ten Companies

Over the last two years, the situation has grown even more confusing. At least 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 barrel-shaped pill. It seems designed to fool consumers/physicians/pharmacists that this generic uses OROS. It does not.

9. 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.  But it would take a cataclysmic event to reverse this decision.

Still, it’s worth putting it on record. As I mentioned, the FDA in 2017 was incredibly responsive to our complaints about the first two Concerta generics. But that was before the new administration took the White House.

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.

Summary

For sure, this is a lot to take in!  (Guess what! it was a lot to research and attempt to write, too—and constantly re-write—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. FDA scientists agreed with them. That’s how my blog readers played a critical role in lobbying the FDA to reassess the first two Concerta generics. The FDA downgraded them as not being close enough to Concerta.  Then another White House forced a change.

Here is my report on that issue: Consumer Q&A on Generic Concerta

The first version of this post appeared 6/19/19 but my reporting on Concerta generics began in 2014!

I answer all questions as quickly as possible.

Gina Pera 

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Simply  begin your Amazon shopping expeditions in the box to the right.

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1,022 thoughts on “Authorized Generic Concerta Medication Update”

  1. So … not being aware of the changes by the previous ad-monstrous-inistrstion, I allowed Walgreens to fill my 90 day prescription with Camber tablets. They told me that it *is* an osmotic delivery system and the drug fact sheet appears to indicate the same … can you tell me any more about this Camber product? I currently have a tablet soaking in some vinegar to dissolve the medicine so I can look at the “shell,” if one exists.

    I had terrible problems with the previous round of generics – the non-osmotic tablets were unusable. I had severe headaches, tremors, and agitation and it was very clearly attributable to the change in medication. Since then, I’ve been vigilant about getting the Patriot product, but when asked this time, I thought I was safe by insisting on the osmotic delivery. Apparently not.

    I can’t think of anything more vile than messing with people’s medication – particularly psychotropic medication. Greedy, vile, amoral monsters.

    1. Hi Felicity,

      I’m with you on the “monsters.”

      When I was first trying to figure out, back in about 2014, what the HECK was going on, I called a pharmaceutical patent attorney.

      He said, “These generic companies have exploited a loophole — it’s genius!”

      “Genius,” I said, “if you’re a sociopath.” Gah.

      As to your question…..

      No, your pharmacy is wrong…. osmotic delivery system is a generic system. By contrast, Concerta uses Alza’s sophisticated, expensive, patented osmotic-delivery system, called OROS. Two entirely different things.

      I’ve encountered this false claim from many pharmacists, including at the home-delivery warehouses. They have just swallowed whole the line that Camber fed to them.

      This is a long article, with lots of details, so maybe you missed my references to the Camber product:

      1.
      NOTE: The Ascent generic (distributed by Camber) uses a barrel-shaped pill. It seems designed to fool consumers/physicians/pharmacists that this generic uses OROS. It does not.

      2.
      OROS™ is Concerta’s patented extended-release technology. It is owned by a company called Alza and licensed 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.)

      Some of the new generics use other osmotic technology. As a result, some pharmacists mistake “osmotic technology” for the proprietary OROS™ from Alza.

      NOW, it’s possible it might work for you. But if it doesn’t, at least you’ll know why — and not go chasing other rabbits down pointless holes.

      I hope this helps
      Gina

  2. I check your wonderful site (thank you!) a few times a year for updates. I tried probably 9 or so months ago to find a pharmacy that would be able to order the Patriot brand to no avail (probably tried 10 small and chain (CVS, Walgreens etc), so I am currently paying $100 for a 3 month prescription for my son at CVS. $30 per month to have a sane household isn’t a bad deal in my mind, but would still love to save the money. I am in the San Diego area if anyone in soCal or Cal in general has found a Patriot distributor I’d love to hear about it! Thanks!

    1. Hi Tracey,

      A few thoughts:

      — Have you considered home-delivery? There is typically more choice than with the storefront pharmacies.

      https://adhdrollercoaster.org/tools-and-strategies/home-delivery-stimulant-medications/

      — Still…. $100/3 months of brand Concerta is not bad.

      — Maybe the situation has changed since 9 months ago. COVID messed with supply chains in ways that are only now starting to get sorted.

      — To be clear, you’re not looking for a Patriot distributor. You are looking for the Patriot generic of Concerta. Sometimes word usage matters to pharmacy technicians. “Distributor” means an entirely different thing.

      — Did you try submitting a script from your prescriber that states “Patriot generic only”?

      — Did you try calling Janssen?

      I hope this helps.
      Gina

    2. Wow, am I understanding correctly that you are paying only $30 per month for BRAND name Concerta?! The only way you may pay less is if your insurance gives you generics (including Patriot) for $10 or $15.
      Just by way of comparison, I’m getting the Patriot generic here in Northern VA for $85/month, and thrilled to get that!

    3. Hello Tracey, I echo some others here that $100 for three months is a bargain in my book. I faced a $102 / month bill for 30 until I took the card from the manufacturer to my local Walgreens. Gina recommends it above in No. 4. I got my name-brand Concerta for $4 this month here in Florida- wow this was a godsend since I am losing my job and I want to get another one which Concerta will help 🙂 BTW: local Walgreens pharmacist said that they tried to go nationwide to get alza patriot and they could not find it anywhere – they took an extra week to call for me and checked in twice to let me know they were still working it – so I don’t know what is happening elsewhere but I believe they really tried this time.

    4. Hi Tracey!
      Ann at Walgreen Community has been very helpful. I believe they are even able to overnight deliver the medication, though I’ve never done that. They have been incredibly accommodating!
      Walgreen Community Pharmacy on 1487 E Chevy Chase Dr
      Glendale, CA 91206
      +1 (818) 638-0135

    5. Trying to reply to Jill….
      Yes, I’ve seen GoodRx prices close to that for 30 pills. However, my son’s dosage is 72 mgs, so he needs 2 of the 36 mg. pills each day, which is 60 pills per month, so double the cost. Sure wish they made a 72 mg. tablet!

      Also, just FYI, I’m not the same “Ann” who asked about updates on July 12th. I have added my last name initial just to differentiate us.

    1. Hi Ann,

      I keep apprised of the situation and update as needed.

      You can always check the most recent comments, too.

      As far as I know, nothing has changed.

      Gina

    2. I was reading about your comment about Patriot Concerta. Have you tried RX Gold? My insurance is terrible but with RX Gold I pay $34 for Patriot Concerta.
      Good luck.

    3. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to reply to the proper person.
      Anyway, Gina, I’m not sure why you mentioned a 70 mg tablet. As I’m sure you must know, Concerta (and the Patriot Authorized Generic) comes only in four tablet sizes…. 18mg, 27 mg, 36 mg, and 54 mg. Or did they add a new size recently that I’m unaware of?

    4. Hi Ann W,

      argh! Sorry. I am too tired. :-0. In the middle of preparing Course 2, on sleep and medication, and I was explaining how amphetamines work. Had Vyvanse on my mind!

      Gina

    5. Ann,
      I take 54mg in the am and 18mg in the afternoon. Each around $32-$34. Less than the $90 I was paying.
      Best of luck.
      Jill Clifton

    6. No worries Gina. 🙂 Knowing how busy you are, I figured it must be something like that. Hope you can catch some good zzzz’s tonight!
      – Ann W.

    7. Thank you! I get ZZZZs. If I didn’t over the years of this course creation (on SLEEP and medication), I’d be dead by now. 🙂

      g

  3. Great and helpful article. This really is a clown show, and yes, the national corporate chain pharmacies (that’s you, CVS) are not here to help. Thank you – I hope I can get back to where I need to in terms of the medication that has done so much for me over the last ten years, without having to take out a second mortgage.

  4. Hello Gina,

    Thank you, first, for the resources.

    I am having trouble with my insurance, which is gov. insurance, approving the brand. They don’t want to approve it until I’ve tried (and not tolerated) the generics.

    This is upsetting, but, I’ll do what it takes and try what I can get. So far I have been prescribed the Camber generic, and will be starting it soon. However, I’m trying to see if I can access the Patriot authorized generic.

    I explained to my Psychiatrist and the pharmacists alike, but they are all clueless and confused about the topic. I contacted Patriot at 215-325-7676 and from my experience it just ended up directing me to leave a message for them to get back to me. Is this new, or is there something I missed with navigating the phone tree to speak to someone directly?

    My goal is to at least speak with someone there to see if they would work with my local pharmacy to get Patriot in there.

    Thanks again,
    Love

    1. Hi again,

      Just remember….your insurance does NOT need to approve the brand.

      All you need is to have the MD specify “Patriot generic only”.

      I realize it’s not always so easy. Just to clarify on that point.

      Forward your psychiatrist this article.

      I’ve given up on big-box retail pharmacists. They are complicit.

      You might have to try Patriot a few more times. No doubt they’re busy and understaffed.

      g

  5. Hi there! Thanks for this post. I usually take the 36 mg from Patriot, but I recently moved to a new area and I got my prescription filled at Walgreen’s as usual but they gave me the Trigen pills instead! I talked to my doctor about it and he said that it was likely all in my head and there are virtually no differences between the Patriot and Trigen pills, so I am very grateful to this post for explaining and clearly validating my negative experience with Trigen.

    Luckily I’ve been able to get mostly back to Patriot, but for my last prescription they gave me pills from Dr. Reddy’s Labs. They look identical in shape to the Patriot 36 mg pills except these are red and say RDY 36 on them. So far they have been affecting me pretty similarly to Patriot except I can feel the effects of these pills waning slightly earlier than Patriot’s. I can hardly see any valuable information about these pills online so I was just wondering if you’ve encountered these yet and if you have any thoughts on these? There’s a chance these may be a viable alternative to Patriot, for me at least.

    1. Hi Elena,

      Good grief……is your doctor stuck in the 1950s? Where doctors were Gods and women were “nervous” and “hysterical”?

      That is appalling.

      Trump unleashed a boatload of inferior generics for Concerta. It’s impossible to keep track of them all.

      Since learning about Rx manufacturing processes in India and elsewhere, I’m cautious. Another Indian generic company, Aurabindo, has been called on the carpet by the FDA for all kinds of infractions.

      I don’t see problems with Dr. Reddy on the same level as Aurabindo, but there’s this:

      https://www.bloombergquint.com/markets/us-fda-flagged-quality-issues-at-dr-reddys-duvvada-site-say-brokerages

      The issue with these overseas manufacturers is that they are “approved” by visiting FDA officials. That means they can quickly put up window dressing, etc…

      My blog post on that topic is based on the book “Bottle of Lies”:

      https://adhdrollercoaster.org/adhd-news-and-research/generic-drugs-bottle-of-lies/

      So, Elena, I don’t know what to tell you. If that generic is working for you, and it’s impossible to get the Patriot-Janssen at an affordable price, that’s your call.

      I’m sure it uses nothing like Concerta’s sophisticated delivery system. None of these inferior generics do. That was the point…..they could exploit the “ADHD market” and make high profit on simple pills. Cheap ones.

      Good luck!
      Gina

  6. Has Actavis been approved as an Authorized Generic”? My insurance states that my Concerta is only to be filled with an Authorized Generic.
    They had been using Patriot until my last time I got my prescriptions filled.
    I’m really confused. I also could tell a difference between the two.

    1. Hi Jill,

      No, Actavis does not have an authorized generic.

      It’s not something that is “approved.” Authorized generics ARE THE BRAND. They are just marketed as a generic (for various business reasons).

      Are you sure your insurance states that “my Concerta is only to be filled with an Authorized Generic?”

      Are you sure it’s not simply generic?

      It sounds like you lucked out in getting the Patriot Authorized Generic. Now you might have to make more of an effort — getting your MD to specify that on the script.

      This post provides all the details.

      good luck,
      Gina

  7. I called the number above for Janssen and the person in speaking with is very confused and has no idea what patriot pharm is, even after I explained it to her. Somehow I’ve been routed to a Johnson and Johnson savings program help line. Does anyone have any advice for making the phone calls successfully?

    1. Katie, what are you looking for? The authorized-generic?

      Did you call the number for PATRIOT in the post?

      I can’t access that now so cannot provide it.

      g

    2. Sounds like you hit the wrong options in the menu. Yes the Jensen number will bring you to J&J. Every time I have called they have known what I was talking about. But listen to the menu and just choose customer service. NOT the savings card.
      They have always taken my information and filled out a ‘case’ with reference number and sent that on to the woman who handles this at patriot.
      I’ve tried the direct number a bunch of times and left messages. The only way I have been called back is through the Jensen number however.

    3. I had an appointment with my doctor yesterday and she sent in my prescriptions specifically for Patriot (no substitutions/medically necessary.
      My pharmacy sent me a text saying that it will be ready on Monday.
      Thank you for your help, hard work and dedication.

  8. Oh God thank you. I have been off my meds since November. I was taking one generic manufactured by alvogen that seemed to agree with me and then one day I picked up my prescription and it was different. HORRIBLE. I spoke with multiple pharmacists before one would tell me the manufacturer of that pill, Lanett co.

    I called my drs office and explained the issue and they said they would figure something out and never got back to me so I made an appointment and went in and my doctor told me that I wants taking a generic before. He said I was taking name brand. I said no and he asked me to describe the pill. He says yup that’s concerta. Ok… Maybe I was?
    He submitted the prescription as name brand only and before I even got home the pharmacy called and said we will fill this but just know it’s gonna cost $500…
    Ok so I DEFINITELY was never taking the name brand.

    I’ve been calling around pharmacies and back and forth with my doctor trying to track down the alvogen with no luck.
    They just switched my prescription to a pharmacy that carries camber and I’m nervous to try it.

    I’ll try calling patriot tomorrow and see if I can find a pharmacy near me.

    This has been a nightmare and no one that should be able to answer my questions has been able to so far. Thank you for this.

    1. Hi Katie,

      I’m glad you finally found me!

      It’s true…plenty of MDs and pharmacists don’t know the difference. They will “gaslight” us until the cows come home. Is it gaslighting, though, when they are truly clueless? Or are they clueless because they are lazy, don’t care, or …..

      I have higher standards. Because I know too well what your experience has been.

      In future, you can just look on the bottle. It should have said “Lannett”.

      Camber is another generic. They deceptively made it look more like Concerta.

      https://www.camberpharma.com/products/methylphenidate-er/

      I find it sick and greedy and hope they rot beneath their stacks of ill-gotten money.

      good luck!
      g

    2. Hey there, any luck reaching out to Patriot/Jensen and if so, what was your process/what number(s) did you call? I’ve tried calling Jensen with no luck (they don’t seem to know what I’m talking about) and when I call Patriot it only allows me to leave a message.

    3. Hi there,

      Looks like you have to leave a message. Perhaps they are short-staffed….who knows.

      Just call that number in the article. That’s it.

      g

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