Janssen Quietly Ends Concerta Authorized-Generic

Janssen Ends Concerta Authorized-Generic

Concerta manufacturer Janssen officially ended availability of its authorized-generic  mid-January 2023, through its Patriot subsidiary. (What’s more, some evidence points to Janssen phasing out Concerta brand entirely this year, 2023. Stay tuned.)

Shocking, I know. Concerta users accustomed to paying generic prices, however, were feeling this decision as early as October, 2022.

As ADHD Roller Coaster blog readers know, the authorized-generic is the brand; it’s only sold as a generic.

Now, with Big Generic seemingly driving—and in some cases even colluding with—insurers and pharmacies to eliminate access to many brand medications, getting even the brand Concerta is difficult for many consumers. I offer tips below.

You  can also listen to the podcast version.

ADHD Roller Coaster readers have followed my posts about this ongoing story since 2014.  Many followed my suggestion in filing FDA MedWatch complaints.  That resulted in the FDA downgrading the first two Concerta generics as non-bioequivalent. That is, not close enough to Concerta.

I’ll link to my most popular comprehensive post at the end of this one. Much of it no longer applies, but it will be helpful toward understanding the complexity of generic medications.

Overall, the tea leaves suggest that, now that the authorized-generic Concerta has been eliminated, brand Concerta might not be far behind.

I encourage Concerta users to start looking into alternative stimulants.  Now. Don’t know what they are?  That’s a common problem.

In addition to other factors,  most prescribers seem familiar with only 2-3 stimulants.  Currently, two of those are in shortage, Adderall and Concerta (along with Ritalin products). Vyvanse appears to be available as usual.

Moreover, pharmacy-benefit formularies (that is, what’s allowed) vary widely.  Increasingly, brands are inaccessible.

I find all of this unacceptable. We should see a congressional investigation. That’s unlikely, though, given stigma around ADHD.

For 20 years, I’ve listened to prescribing-gone-wrong stories with great frustration. The hard truth is, a huge number of prescribers are not skilled. That means you don’t get the results you hope for, and that’s a shame.

 I created this course to take  you by the hand, step by step, so you can  confidently self-advocate with your prescriber and optimize medication and sleep strategies: Course 2: Physical Strategies

More In This Post on Concerta Generics:

  1. What’s the upshot?
  2. What does this mean for consumers?
  3. Other ADHD medication shortages
  4. Try not to panic
  5. Tips in the meantime
  6. Big picture – the changing Concerta landscape
  7. Why Concerta users have been fortunate for years
  8. Report adverse events to the FDA
  9. Janssen executives – leave a message for them if you like!
  10. My comprehensive post on the Concerta generic issue

1. What’s The Upshot?

The Patriot authorized-generic for Concerta discontinuation notice was finally posted on the FDA website 12/9/22, two weeks after I posted the original article.

On Dec. 2. a Janssen representative told me that warehouses received their final supplies of Concerta authorized-generic weeks ago.

When those supplies are exhausted, that’s it. (The deal officially ended 1/13/23.) No other information was available.

Janssen would not indicate if Concerta brand prices are being negotiated. Rumors have circulated  that J&J/Janssen might sell Concerta to another company.  I’m not sure how that company would fare any better,  competing with a slew of dirt-cheaply made generics. I’ll let subscribers know as I learn more.

A kind reader points us to one data point that casts doubt on Concerta’s continued manufacture.  It indicates  that Janssen parent company J&J started scaling back production at its Alza plant in 2019.
Excerpt from FiercePharma’s Janssen Laying Off 4 Dozen Employees as California Plant Heads Towards Closure:

J&J says the closure is part of an effort to rework its manufacturing network as its drug portfolio changes.

“As part of this transformation, we will scale down production at our Vacaville, California facility with the intent to fully exit the site by the end of 2022,” J&J spokesman Matthew Johnson said.

Janssen, like other drugmakers, is putting more effort into areas such as immunology that involve biologic drugs. That means dropping people with ADHD metaphorically on their heads.

2. What Does This Mean for Consumers?

What does this mean for consumers who have relied on this ADHD stimulant medication for years. Including  my own husband?

That depends on many factors, including:

Personal resources

  • Insurance pharmacy benefit terms (fewer are covering brands these days),
  • Symptom severity and co-existing conditions 
  • Prescriber’s expertise and willingness to help you manage a good strategy

Below, you’ll find a few tips and a request—please report any adverse events with the Concerta and any other generics to the FDA. Link below. 

Consumers have been vulnerable pawns in this game, its way past time  we make our voices heard. We did it in 2014, so let’s try again.

3. Other ADHD Medication Shortages

This turnabout has been made worse by an overall shortage of stimulant medications, including the Concerta generics and Adderall.

Other factors:

  • The ongoing surge in diagnoses thanks to COVID pushing long-lingering issues to the fore.
  • The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) limits stimulant raw materials annually.  Has the DEA increased limits due to the increase in diagnosis?  I find noevidence of that.

Bloomberg reported on this 1/5/23: ADHD Drug Shortages Spread to Generic Ritalin.  Excerpt:

Shortages of ADHD medications that started this summer with Adderall have widened to now include another major category of stimulants.

For the past two months, patients have had a hard time finding methylphenidate drugs, a class that includes Novartis AG’s Ritalin and Johnson & Johnson’s Concerta. A drug manufacturer and a major pharmacy told Bloomberg News there are issues with the supply of the drugs, though it’s unclear what’s causing the shortage.

don't panic concerta generic shakeup

4. Let’s Try Not to Panic!

Instead, use this time to gather information and get your ducks in a row. There are several fluctuating factors, and it might take a while for the dust to settle.

For example:

  1. It’s always tricky this time of year, as stimulant raw materials run low, thanks to the DEA’s arbitrary restrictions.
  2. Some supply issues might resolve by January.
  3. We just don’t know what Janssen might do in 2023 in terms of making the brand Concerta more accessible and affordable. What deals it might be cutting with pharmacies and insurers—or sale of the drug to another company. But, as I mentioned above, shutting down the Alza plant does not look positive.

To find more details, I made multiple phone calls to multiple offices at Janssen and parent company Johnson & Johnson. No response. (Companies don’t have to respond anymore. That went out with the flood.)

As previously mentioned, I’ve kept readers informed on Concerta and its generics  (and generics in general) for almost a decade. You can read a historical overview here: Generic ADHD Medications: Events In the News 2009 to 2022

Don’t understand what’s the big deal?

Someone wrote on my Facebook page: “I like the Trigen, Gina. Concerta is not the GOD of stimulants.”

Trigen’s generic for Concerta is one that has long caused problems for some Concerta users who’ve tried it.  Read the comments to the linked overview story at the end of this post.  That reader assumes she has a handle on what’s happening—and she clearly doesn’t.

Moreover, I never claimed Concerta is a GOD or in any other way superior to other stimulant choices.  I claimed only that it is a very popular choice that millions have relied upon for years—and they are losing it without a likely replacement.

The Concerta generics don’t work as Concerta does. In other words, if you get best results from Concerta, chances are good these generics won’t work as well for you.  On the other hand, if Concerta does not work well for you, one of these generics might work better.

The issue isn’t that these are “bad drugs.” The issue is this: They don’t work as Concerta works. They are not bioequivalent, no matter what the Trump-appointed  FDA chief said in 2017.

Scott Gottlieb, MD, in 2017 overrode FDA scientists’ objections in approving this slew of inferior products from “Big Generic.”  Pharmacies and insurers probably make money selling these pennies-to-produce generics made in India and elsewhere. Learn more more history here: Authorized-Generic Concerta Update.

Tips for dealing with Concerta generic problems

5. Meanwhile, Consider These Tips

The main thing is: Don’t wait until the last minute to fill your prescription! Something might be better than nothing.  (In the case of some generics, however, something might be worse than nothing.)

I’ve assembled a few suggestions here.

—Get Familiar with Pharmacy Benefit Details and Workarounds

  • Check to see if you can get brand Concerta—at what price and what is your out-of-pocket maximum.
  • See if there is a cost difference between 30-day local and 90-day home-delivery pharmacy: Home Delivery of Prescribed Stimulant Medications
  • Call your pharmacy benefits manager (or check the website) to see which ADHD medications you can get, as generic or brand. This is typically called the formulary.
  • Have you already tried an inferior Concerta generic, to bad effect? Start documenting that with dates and details for possible “pre-authorization” or “medical coverage exception”. Summarized in a letter from your prescriber, this might result in your insurance covering brand. (While you’re at it, complete an FDA Medwatch form, below.)

—Check Out Savings Programs

  • See if the Concerta savings coupon works with your insurance (not available in CA and MA). Unfortunately, this requires your insurance covering brand.
  • Check to see if you qualify for Janssen’s Patient Assistance Program. That program ended January 1, 2023.
  • GoodRx used to be helpful sometimes with getting brand Concerta, but now it doesn’t even list it or the authorized-generic as an option.

—Start Trying Other Brand Methylphenidate (MPH) Stimulants, If Possible

Some brand medications have no generics yet. Therefore, it might be easier to get them over other brands for which we do have generics.  (In the amphetamine class of stimulants, Vyvanse is one such example.)

More points:

—Check Out Non-Concerta Generic MPH Stimulants

  • There are many generic methylphenidate options.
  • Check out the generics for Daytrana (patch), Metadate CD, Ritalin LA, Ritalin SR. Methylin ER

—Ever Tried an Amphetamine (AMP) Stimulant?

  • If you’ve never tried a stimulant in the amphetamine class, you might want to do so now.
  •  Prescribers have been trained by sales reps to automatically choose Adderall first. But there is no evidence for it. Moreover, it has the highest side-effect profile among the stimulants.
  •  Vyvanse might be a better choice for many, at least to start. And again, there is no generic yet.  It all depends on your unique biochemistry.
  • Some people take Dexedrine, but the old formulations’ abrupt stop-and-start is problematic for many.
  • There are other AMP formulations, too.

—Maximize Health and Supportive Strategies

What the silver lining of this cloud? Perhaps it’s a good opportunity to start optimizing all the strategies that support health and executive functioning,

Let’s face it. Some folks do over-rely on a stimulant to propel them through their day. This is especially true with Adderall, in my observation.

With better sleep, nutrition, exercise and new skills and habits to support Executive Functions, some folks find they need less medication.  The higher the dose, the greater the odds for side effects.

Therefore, start doing what you can to improve brain function in other ways, including:

  • Getting consistently better sleep sleep (same time to bed and awaken, every day)
  • Improved diet and exercise
  • Sunlight in the morning, lower lights in the evening
  • Doubling down on using tools for goal-setting and time-management

Again,  any of these steps  might increase the odds of an alternative stimulant working better for you. More importantly, they are part of the recommended “multi-modal” treatment for ADHD. medication along is seldom enough.

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FDA medwatch complaint concerta generics

6. Adverse Reaction? File an FDA MedWatch Complaint

This is how we got the first two inferior Concerta generics downgraded.  Meaning: consumers were no longer forced to accept them as a generic for Concerta.

It only takes a minute. And the FDA does pay attention (now): FDA MedWatch Voluntary Report

7. The Changing Concerta Landscape

In the past, consumers could more easily switch to brand Concerta. They’d pay the brand price, of course.  Yet, depending on insurance coverage, it would be maybe 3-5 times the generic price. That is, more like $100/month, not $600/month. Even less with the home-delivery 90-day pharmacies.

Then everything changed. Beginning in 2017, “Big Generic” unleashed a slew of non-bioequivalent Concerta generics. Many are produced for pennies, some in poorly regulated Indian and Chinese factories. If your insurance coverage specifies generic (if available), that’s what you might get.

Even with insurance coverage that previously covered brand, soon that wasn’t an option, at any price.

Fortunately, Janssen continued to make available its Concerta authorized-generic.  With a bit of effort—and guidance found on this blog—many consumers succeeded in getting brand Concerta at a generic price. But insurance companies and pharmacies paid a higher price, compared to the inferior generics.

8. Concerta Users Have Been Lucky Thus Far

In a very real sense, we’ve been fortunate to have had the Concerta authorized-generic (brand sold as a generic) for so long. It seems unprecedented.

This is partly due to Concerta’s sophisticated delivery system, using a proprietary osmotic pump called OROS from Alza.  Without OROS, Concerta generics are basically Ritalin generics. (This is why news of Janssen edging toward closing the Alza plant likely means no more Concerta at all.)

That’s why the FDA downgraded the first two inferior Concerta generics, thanks in large part to ADHD Roller Coaster readers filing MedWatch complaints. They simply didn’t work the same as Concerta does.

Things changed in 2017 when the Trump-appointed FDA chief over-ruled FDA scientists concerns about regular Concerta generics’ bioequivalence.

Next thing we know: A leaky boatload of junk generics.  (Yes, some work better than Concerta for some people. That’s not the point. The point is that they are not bioequivalent, and that’s the basis for generic status.)

9. Tell Janssen Executives What You Think

Did this earth-shaking news come in a formal announcement from Johnson & Johnson, parent company to Janssen? How about an obscurely placed press release? No. Apparently, the company that has reaped billions from consumers choosing Concerta didn’t find them worth that little courtesy.

By the way, it’s not like Janssen’s been performing a charity with Concerta. Sales are up 19%, in the U.S., according to Johnson & Johnson’s third-quarter 2022 results.

Johnson & Johnson Reports Q3 2022 Results, concerta profits

Sure, we’re grateful to have gotten the authorized-generic for this long. And we understand that other factors precipitated this change. But that doesn’t mean we overlook having no notice of this change. No press releases. No nothing.

Multiple efforts to get more details today from Janssen  or J&J have failed.  Apparently, company executives find it a trivial matter—cutting off longtime customers from a treatment they’ve come to rely upon.   With my most recent effort, Dec. 2, I was told only what I wrote at the beginning of this post. That is, the last supply went out a few weeks ago. When those are gone, the authorized-generic is no more.

You are welcome to write to the two executives below at this address:

1000 Route 202 South
Raritan, NJ 08869
USA

 

Jennifer Taubert, Executive Vice President
Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Vanessa Broadhurst. Company Group Chairman
Global Commercial Strategy OrganizationJanssen Pharmaceuticals

Johnson & Johnson Executives Authorized-generic Concerta

10. My Comprehensive Post on Concerta Generics

You’ll find my main post on Concerta Generics here:  Authorized-Generic Concerta Update

The first version of this post appeared 12/1/22.

About The Author

222 thoughts on “Janssen Quietly Ends Concerta Authorized-Generic”

  1. I’ve been trying to fill my twins’ Concerta 36 generic (Patriot) Rx for three weeks now. Everything within 20 miles is 0 stock. My pharmacist even tried other generic brands, also showing 0 stock. My kids have one pill left each because we rationed them over the holiday break. Their doc said to just get the non-authorized generic, but there isn’t any of that either. I really don’t know what to do at this point. For my federal BCBS plan, the name brand coverage is $245 for 30 days, for each kid. The retail price is $610.

    1. That’s rough, Heather.

      Have you considered any of the other MPH (methylphenidate) brands? I mention a few in the post.

      good luck,
      Gina

  2. Hi Gina and happy new year to all!
    Any updates on this generic concerta mess?!
    Also I see in a related thread you authored a post describing a little of the bs process for generics approval with the fda and allude to how some companies just pour their resources into loopholes rather than licensing or developing any actual extended release mechanisms that would approximate AZLA osmotics. Can you point an interested reader into the details of the approval process? You warned it would be boring but I like that kinda boring lol! Any good links or sources you like for that info?
    Cheers and happy new year!

    1. Hi M,

      No updates since last week! 🙂

      I’m urging all Concerta users to start exploring other options. There are many — some of which might suit better.

      At least, if they don’t work well, you’ll have data for creating a approval request — to get the brand.

      Do you mean the approval process for generics in general?

      I’ve found that the FDA information explain how the process “should go”. But sometimes doesn’t.

      Otherwise, I’ve found U.S. Pharmacist provides useful details on the process in general.

      https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/generic-drugs-history-approval-process-and-current-challenges

      excerpt:

      The Approval Process
      Unlike the approval process for new chemical entities, that for generic drugs allows use of the ANDA, which does not require the submission of clinical data regarding safety and efficacy since this information was already provided for the pioneer product. Since the original active ingredient was already proven safe and effective, the manufacturer must now prove bioequivalence for the pharmaceutically equivalent generic drug product.

      In order to receive approval for marketing, a generic drug must meet the same batch requirements for identity, strength, purity, and quality and be therapeutically equivalent to the branded product. Additionally, the drug must be manufactured according to the same Good Manufacturing Practice regulations required by the FDA.4 For the generic drug to be therapeutically equivalent, two clinical characteristics must apply: It must be pharmaceutically equivalent as well as bioequivalent. Pharmaceutical equivalence means that the active ingredient(s), dose form, route of administration, and strength are the same for both the branded product and the generic product. Bioequivalence is when both products have comparable bioavailability when studied under similar conditions.10

      While pharmaceutical equivalence is relatively easy to comprehend, the concept of bioequivalence is more difficult to grasp. Bioequivalence is determined by evaluation of the AUC and the maximum concentration of drug (Cmax). A generic product is considered to be bioequivalent to the pioneer product if the 90% confidence interval (CI) of the mean AUC and the relative mean Cmax is 80% to 125%. This criterion is the same standard used for testing the bioequivalence of branded products with reformulation or manufacturing changes. Bioequivalence is determined by conducting crossover studies of at least 12 patients in which half of the patients receive the generic drug first and then the pioneer drug, with a washout period in between. The remaining patients receive the pioneer drug first, followed by a washout period and then the generic drug. The Cmax, time to reach Cmax, and AUC are determined by taking multiple blood samples from individual patients. Based on the 90% CI, if drug levels vary by more than 10%, failure to reach FDA criteria disqualifies a drug for a bioequivalence rating. According to data for bioequivalence testing performed on 224 drugs after 1962, the mean variation in bioavailability between branded and generic drug products was approximately 3.5%.11

      Despite determinations of statistical bioequivalence, some health care providers still have concerns about interchangeability between narrow-therapeutic-index (NTI) branded and generic drugs. Currently, however, no data suggest that the bioequivalence criteria for NTI drugs should be more rigorous. Opponents of generic substitution have raised questions about changes in efficacy and toxicity in drugs such as antiepileptics and have voiced concerns about receiving consistent product with routine refills. In addition, it has been difficult to determine bioequivalence in products with timed-release properties.11

      A common misconception in the evaluation of generic substitution relates to therapeutic equivalence. While a generic drug may be AB-rated to a branded drug, there is no testing to determine whether generic products are bioequivalent to each other, although it is expected that their efficacy would not differ significantly.11

      Gina

    2. Thanks Gina! That’s very helpful! I’m trying to understand what exactly generics are “supposed” to establish in terms of bioequivalence. That is, whether release over time actually has to be established to be sufficiently similar or if they just need to show max concentrations etc, and when the generics makers “find loopholes” are they really finding loopholes — i.e. the “rules” are too vague or too lax— or are they creating deceptive reports that don’t really address the question they are supposed to answer for approval and they just hope the authorities don’t notice. I realize we are all stuck with a case-by-case basis complaint system to get most immediate action taken via their reporting system, but I can’t help always wondering about the systemic changes that could possibly be made or at least for us to make our (alleged) representatives in the world of regulation aware of!

    3. Hi M,

      Keep digging!

      If you read my past posts on the Concerta generics, you’ll see that the issue is exploitation of loopholes.

      We succeeded in getting the FDA to downgrade the first two generic Concerta as NOT being bio-equivalence.

      Then Myland, followed by a slew of others under the Big Generic umbrella, doubled-down.

      This was made possible by a Trump-appointed FDA chief who overrode FDA scientists’ concerns about bioequivalence.
      g

  3. Gina,
    I read your last reply to the last message about a rumor that Concerta would be for sale. In the J&J plans for its pharmaceuticals segment (pushing the cancer drugs and wanting a goal of $60 billion in parmaceutical revenues within only a few years – yes I listened to the investor conference call), I wondered myself if Concerta would no longer fit in J&J’s portfolio. Though to us Concerta is a material drug to our lives, to J&J, Concerta may have good operating margins, but it must tie up resources with Schedule 1 drug restrictions. Sales last year were barely over $600 million and not the biggest seller in the Neuroscience family (again J&J appears to be moving towards treatments for other types of diseases, particularly cancer). Is there any way / anyone we can lobby to have this happen?

    Patiently tracking my daughter’s in process shipment from Express Scripts and am praying it is the last of the Patriot generic that we all are craving.

    1. Hi MB,

      Interesting.

      These junk generics must play a role in the decision.

      Meanwhile, a Chem Ed PhD formerly at one of these generic companis is sending me e-mails insisting I am wrong wrong wrong, that he knows ANDA, bioequivalence data, etc.. and I don’t.

      Just beggars belief. He is the one who is wrong wrong wrong. But in his eyes, I am the misguided one. Talk about gaslighting.

      Shew!

      Good luck!
      g

  4. Just found out why it was so difficult to get my last prescription. I don’t have any extra concerta, since they have made it impossible to get. Johnson and Johnson is a despicable company for whatever cash grab this will turn out to be. I have logged my bad reaction to the off-brand generic the pharmacy once gave me (the only time I didn’t check to make sure the pills were the correct ones). Hopefully a miracle will happen, but I am doubtful.

    1. Hi Ashley,

      By “logged your reaction,” do you mean filing a MedWatch complaint? If not, I encourage you to consider it.

      This all is so disruptive.

      I’ve heard a rumor that Janssen is selling Concerta to another company. Let’s hope we learn more soon

      g

  5. I understand businesses have to do what is the most beneficial for there company but in this case not keeping customers informed is causing major problems for a lot of us.

    Since methylphenidate is a controlled substance I’m not allowed to have any extra on hand. So we ran out 5 days ago and were surprised by not being able to fill our prescription. So I’ve had to spend more than 10 hours this week talking to the doctor, the pharmacy and the insurance company.

    I still don’t have approval going into the weekend so nothing will get done by the insurance until Monday. Meanwhile my son has been taking some leftover pills I kept from 7 years ago which are not the full dose he is used to. It’s hard enough getting through the Christmas season, not having his full dose of meds and possibly having to change meds is going to ruin this season for the whole family.

    Once this is over, I intend to find ways of avoiding using any Johnson &Johnson products!

    1. I hear you, Lin. It’s a great thing that we had access to the Authorized-generic Concerta for as long as we did.

      But to end so abruptly and without warning…… Without my reporting, no one would know what is going on. It’s crazy.

      g

    1. Hello,
      I just wanted to add that I found out this week what you are saying, no more Patriot Generic Methylphenidate. But I did find out that Medi-Cal/LA Care is covering the brand. And one pharmacist told me that it looks like they made a deal between the manufacturer/insurance company/pharmacy to provide brand so they don’t need to provide the generic equivelant. I hope this lasts. I did request the doctor to fill out the prescription for brand expecting it to be denied, but what do you know, it went through no questions asked.

    2. Wow, Lind. That’s great news. I was hoping that might end up being the case. I hope I hear more stories like this.

      g

    3. Where is the FDA link confirming discontinuation of authorized generic, please? Thanks.

  6. Reply to G,

    As much as I’d love to agree with you that Jannsenn isn’t the big bad wolf in this situation the fact that have done this quietly and no announcement made about their approved generic going off the market or info on making it possible for to actually be able to afford the brand at this stage in time leads me to believe that they are playing a role in all of this For their pockets, until they prove me wrong with hopefully some new information in the new year, they are still part of the problem. I have worked pharmacy for 13yrs both retail and now in more corporate setting, blame whoever needs to be blamed but I’ve never seen a situation where the manufacturer has squeaky clean hands, there is a lot of fingers in this blame pie and there’s are in just as deep… until they prove me wrong but doing their part. Thats all I was trying to convey. Fingers crossed they do prove me wrong but I’m cynical with all the BS I’ve witnessed over the years.

    1. I hear you, Roxi.

      I think there is a lot of territory between not being the bad actor in this case and being “squeaky clean.” 🙂

      Identifying a major cause is important, imho, because it better points to solutions. In this case, filing an FDA MedWAtch complaint when one of these Concerta generics produces an adverse event is our best shot, imho.

      g

  7. So Jassenn.. what is it? Not making enough money off the generic you so kindly gave to those who couldn’t afford the brand (basically the brand disguised as generic) when you knew damn well none of the other generics would compare? Or knowing now a lot of people who take your competitors generics will have have to seek provider help for Brand name only?
    Or you got a new medication coming out soon? Or do you really just give zero craps about the people you have helped for so many years?
    End of the day it’s money isn’t it.
    I work in the pharmacy industry and honestly the fact you couldn’t even be bothered to advise your loyal consumers this was happening is disgusting…. My insurance only covered brand name and now I’m being told only generic in the new year and because I work in your world and I know better you are going to end up destroying lives, pushing people over the edge and having others start from square one to find a medication regiment that works from them or put providers offices under immense strain all so they have to get a PA or Mexican exemption for your brand… Took me forever to finally find a med that worked for me and then forever to get my dosage right and finally feel good in my own skin.. so honestly Screw you, you should be ashamed.
    Rant over

    1. Hi Roxi,

      I understand your sentiments.

      The thing is, Janssen is not the bad actor here. Trump’s FDA chief and Big Generic are. I explain this in my various reports on this topic.

      Janssen actually made the authorized-generic available for almost a decade after patent expiration. There might be other cases like this, but I don’t know about them.

      I’m hoping for new deals in 2023.

      take care,
      g

  8. Went to fill my prescription 2 days ago and they were out of the camber generic also. This isn’t good for the community.

    1. Hi Joshua,

      Stimulants typically run into supply issues in December. COVID has only made it worse, with supply-chain and surge in diagnoses.

      Perhaps Camber also irresponsibly pushed more than they could supply. It’s not exactly a reputable company, creating a non-bioequivalent generic that looks like Concerta but is in no way Concerta.

      January should be better.
      g

  9. I can’t find any information supporting that Janssen is discontinuing Concerta. Can you point us in the direction of where you found the information? We use name brand with no issues right now but if everyone has to switch, it’s going to be a nightmare!

    1. Hi Jeanine,

      Best to read my post rather than rely on info in the comments. Some is well-meaning but not accurate.

      Janssen is not discontinuing Concerta — at least not that we know of.

      The issue is that the Authorized-generic is going away. That is how the majority of people seem to have gotten Concert over the years. The authorized generic IS the brand. It’s just sold as a generic.

      Gina

    2. I apologize for poor wording on my part, which generics are going away? What I was meaning is the people who currently do is name brands are going to see an influx of people switching which could potentially lead to issues with name brands. We do use name brand currently (Alza) but our concern is if the generics people currently rely on are discontinued, what happens to the supply? (Does that make more sense?) I did read your article and appreciate the information, I just can’t find what generics are being discontinued

    3. Hi Jeanine,

      The only Concerta generic that is going away is the authorized-generic. That is a special category of generic. It is the brand sold at a generic price.

      Janssen makes Concerta. So, any influx of authorized-generic Concerta users to brand Concerta is just a change on a spreadsheet. Not an actual change. Make sense?

      Again, Concerta authorized-generic IS the brand. No difference. At all. Just the marketing and price.

      g

    4. That makes more sense. Apparently I was reading it completely wrong, my bad! Thank you for clarifying it

    5. No problem. It’s confusing for everyone!

      I’ll have “The authorized-generic IS the brand” on my gravestone! lol

      g

  10. I have a hard time even writing this. I’m just so upset. I have been on Concerta for over 5 years now– changed my life! With insurance changes, life changes, etc. I have been on a slew of generic trials with methylphenidate over the years. And it always come back to the same thing– Concerta is the medication that I need to operate at my best.
    As my commercial insurance is getting dropped next year– I am having to pick from Market Place insurance again. And I can’t find any insurance plan that covers Concerta at all. On their 2023 drug formularies Concerta isn’t even listed as a drug that isn’t covered.
    You said that Jannsen is discontinuing its authorized generic, but is something happeneing to Concerta in general? Because I can’t even find many insurance drug formularies recognizing Concerta in general.

    I have done so much work to get to where I am, and have fought so hard to become a strong mother for my child. Someone who is healthy. As a homeschooling mother– I need to be my best for him. And I just feel so scared for the future, and I just get so angry when I know I am just a pawn in some pharmaceutical/ insurance game of money. When my health is the cost.

    Anyways– I just want to say thank you for sharing your knowledge to all of us. And if you know why I can’t even see Concerta listed on most formularies.

    1. Hi Rachael,

      I hear your frustration and sympathize. Concerta has been a game-changer for MANY people.

      As I wrote in the post, I am hopeful that Janssen is working on deals to make the brand more widely available. I mean, how many people can afford $2,000/month?

      We won’t know, though, for a few months.

      The bad actor here was the Trump administration appointing a “Big Generic” FDA chief. That’s where the major fault lies. Things were going well — Concerta was available affordably for most people long past its patent expiration. And that’s unusual!

      There are other options to try.

      good luck,
      g

    2. Is MediCal or Molina an option on marketplace? We have Molina through Medicaid and they cover Concerta (Alza) in full.

  11. Gina, thanks so much for all you do!! There seems to be two things happening: 1)
    The FDA has allowed a whole bunch of non-equivalent generics to be sold as equivalent and 2) Jansen decided it was not going to continue selling its authorized generic because it wasn’t profitable.
    Leaves me wondering how anybody can claim a generic is equivalent if the brand name is specifically an ER medication that is distinguishable from other similar meds only in its release profile? This seems so technically a violation as to be scandalous. If the medication is ER and it went off patent then doesn’t the actual action HAVE to be reproducible? If the original patent included a release mechanism to create its action then the generics must reproduce or else how does it get to be labeled a generic? We cannot have a subsidiary of the brand patent holder make the only generic that actually does the same thing if they will do this sort of move and withdraw product with no notice especially. Are there parallels with other patented delivery drugs? I feel like the weeds of the rules about generics will hold the answers and o am ignorant and see you mention changes gottlieb did but were they specific to this med or general changes to generics rules?

    1. Hi again, M.

      I would clarify your statement to say that the Trump administration’s lackey in the FDA Chief spot allowed it. FDA scientists protested, strongly. But they were overruled.

      Gottlieb pushed through a bunch of generics and then scurried back to the right-wing American Enterprise Institute.

      I explained this in y main article on the Concerta generics:

      https://adhdrollercoaster.org/adhd-medications/authorized-generic-concerta-update/

      excerpt:

      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 shared 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, following the helpful representative’s suggestion. 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, MD. 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’ longheld concerns about bioequivalence. That is, do these generics work as well as the brand versions?

      This is especially critical when it comes to 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.

      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 enormously 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, and facts still matter.)

      g

  12. I just got off the phone with Janssen and as far as their rep could tell me, they had ZERO communication stating that they were discontinuing the Methylphenedate ER authorized generic program (which is I believe is legalese for they continue to plan to provide the authorized generic through Patriot). The rep I spoke to requested that people reach out to Janssen directly to help them figure out what’s going on with the miscommunication issues. Additionally, the Janssen line (1-800-526-7736) and the Patriot labs info line all go to the same call center.

    It’s possible that the whole thing is a supply chain problem.

    1. Hi MM,

      As a career print journalist with a reputation for accuracy, I can assure you, no, Janssen/Patriot told me (several different calls) that it is discontinuing the authorized-generic.

      Might the company reconsider in January? Now that insurance companies and pharmacies see what pandemonium is resulting from consumers’ inability to get Concerta? Maybe.

      But no, it is not a supply-chain problem.

      g

    2. Gina,
      Thank you so so much for all you do!!
      I’m feeling very discouraged about what might happen next with this medication that my kid has come to really rely on! We’ve been using the patriot brand generic from the beginning and last year or thereabouts when our Rite Aid pharmacy stopped filling it, we found a place that would. I am starting to feel like we need to lobby for someone making a truly osmotic generic, and I feel lost in the morass of the pharmaceutical industry even though I’m willing to wait through and advocate in anyway that we can! Are there any competitor osmotic technologies that work anywhere close to as well? I see that Johnson and Johnson bought azla some years ago, so presumably, they own that particular osmotic technology and won’t license it out, but surely there have to be other patentable methods or companies interested in creating such a thing shouldn’t there be? Will there be some profit motive for a generics making company to make a comparable generic to Concerta?

    3. M – It’s all very discouraging. We worked so hard to get the first two junk Concerta generics downgraded by the FDA. The FDA under Obama was VERY responsive in helping me get the ball rolling — and DID response to consumer complaints.

      I wrote about it here, including the FDA decision: https://adhdrollercoaster.org/tools-and-strategies/victory-concerta-generics-downgraded/

      The best that we can do now is file MedWatch complaints. I will re-emphasize that. Perhaps there’s some hope.
      g

  13. So for the past year I had NO problems getting my generic Concerta filled (Camber).
    Now starting in October 2022 I suddenly had an issue on my last reifll. It took 7 days to get my prescription filled from Kaiser. Finally it was filled with the Patriot version, I did research and noticed that the Patriot version is the authorized generic. Yes it is slightly different looking than the Camber. Now I just got my Nov refill and they told me that there is no generic available right now and I have to pay for the Janssen brand concerta at a higher deductible price. I showed them my Patriot concerta and it is the exact same as the Jansenn. But at 2-1/2 times less $ . What a scam! Its really fishy that the generic is not available and I have to pay more $ for the Janssen at the same time they announce that the Janssen Brand version will be discontinued.

    1. Hi G,

      I’m confused. Where did you hear that the Jasssen brand of Concerta will be discontinued?

      My report is about the authorized-generic being discontinued. If you are able to get that (from Janssen subsidiary Patriot), you are very lucky indeed.

      As for your Camber not being available, that might be due to typical end-of-year shortages (as I wrote in the post). It might be available again by January.

      Camber is not just “slightly different looking.” It is nothing like Concerta. Camber used that shape, imho, to fool people. If it works for you, great. But it doesn’t work as Concerta works.

      g

    2. This is exactly what happened to me with Kaiser. Like… just tonight. I had to pay a $100 co-pay for pills that look EXACTLY like my previous Patriot pills. I hadn’t noticed that they were no longer Cambria. It does smell fishy.

    3. Hi Moya,

      Could you please explain? I’m not following you.

      Patriot distributed Concerta brand at a generic price.

      That’s over. Sounds like you got the brand, which some people would consider fortunate. Their insurance doesn’t cover brand,

      Camber is one of the real generics, meaning nothing like Concerta.

      Tx
      G

    4. Hi Gina. Sorry for the confusion. Initially when I asked my MD to switch me to Concerta, all my Kaiser pharmacy had was the Camber. I was disappointed. [this was October or September] I didn’t realize that in November they had switched to the Patriot manufactured generic, which is what I had hoped for in the beginning.
      Today they did not have the Patriot concerta. I had to pay a $100 co-pay for the Janssen concerta. I was just comparing my experience to G’s Kaiser experience. I am aware that the Camber is not OROS technology. Thanks!

    5. Got it. Sometimes I get a little dizzy.

      Can you imagine how many times I’ve had to explain that Patriot IS the brand, it’s just marketed as a generic? lol

      It’s a hot mess. With most prescribers having no clue, too many pharmacists believing “Big Generic”, and too much, well, collusion among big pharmacy chains that are almost all aligned with insurance companies, etc..

      Still, no other country offers the same range of choices that we have here in the U.S. In many countries, of course, ADHD treatment is non-existent. But among the other Western countries recognizing it, most offer just a few choices. Almost entirely generic now.

      g

      g

  14. Does anyone know if Vyvanse might be a good alternative for someone who has taken Concerta for years. Also, do you know if generics of Vyvanse work as well as the name brand? Is Vyvanse cheaper than Concerta?

    1. Hi Mike,

      i appreciate your questions. I would caution, though, about asking random strangers—even those discerning enough to read my blog. 🙂

      ADHD medication is a serious issue, much too serious to leave to change. Right now, I hear, ADHD Reddit indicates that the Trigen generic for Concerta uses OROS. It does not. It uses basic osmotic technology.

      To your questions, I encourage you to read my first book:

      Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.: Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder https://a.co/d/ixYuS34

      I explain why you should try both classes of stimulants — and why one might clearly work better than another for you.

      There is no generic for Vyvanse….yet.

      As to whether Vyvanse is cheaper than Concerta, it’s impossible to compare without knowing the specifications of your insurance pharmacy benefit. I’m assuming you aren’t paying cash because both would be extremely expensive.

      Cheers
      Gina

    2. Gina,
      In your last sentence of response to Mike, you said you assume that he’s not “paying case.” Never heard that expression before. Does it mean paying out-of-pocket for the brand? Or, if it’s just a typo, what did you mean to say?

      Thanks for clarifying.

      Ann

    3. Hi Gina,

      Re: your typo…… DUH! It shoulda been obvious to me that you meant “paying cash.” Don’t think I was quite fully awake yet when trying to decipher that sentence. You are generally so incredibly accurate, that I just assumed it must be some new phrase I was not yet familiar with!

  15. I doubt this is news to you, but have read that “Camber” uses OROS technology and seems to be liked by most versus other generics. This info came from a reddit thread, but it quotes a reply to an email from someone at Camber. I can’t copy and paste but ” Camber’s generic Concerta uses OROS technology” would be a search that would lead you to it. I’m hoping this is true and might help someone out there on one that’s not working. Thank you so much for your efforts.

    1. Hi Frank,

      Thanks for reporting in! 🙂

      Unfortunately, many online discussions veer off into misinformation. Come here for the facts.

      Camber does NOT use OROS. It uses an osmotic technology but not Alza’s proprietary, sophisticated OROS. Camber’s is a more rudimentary mechanism.

      I’ve heard more than one pharmacist insist that Camber’s is OROS. It is not. This is clearly the work of aggressive marketing. And it’s a shame.

      I don’t believe anything I read in pharma ads. I check the data.

      cheers
      g

  16. Thank you so much for this info. I found you via a Facebook comment and now realize you are the person behind the blog that led me to Actavis and then Patriot in the first place. Thank you for all of your hard work.
    My youngest has been on generic concerta for about 10 years and says the other generics don’t work for them as well as authorized. I’m hopeful, with your advice and the comments from other readers, that they can find something that will continue to help.

    Man- this sucks a lot.

    1. Hi Thea,

      Yep, that’s me!

      And yep, it does suck a lot. I am remaining hopeful that Janssen will make it more affordable as a brand.

      g

  17. Dear J&J execs. No. Please. No.
    I pay my taxes. I vote. I am a good person. I never cheat or take shortcuts. I work hard. I’m a good mom. I’m a good wife. I look after my mother who has a degenerative brain disease.
    I cannot do any of these things without my correct medication. I have ADHD. My kids both have ADHD.
    I tried the generic and I was literally sick for that entire month. Some days I couldn’t even think of the words I wanted to say. I posted in Gina’s ‘authorized generic’ blog back then and it was a dark time.
    I am just in tears right now, and will be praying tonight for my family and all the other families. The ONE pharmacy that has been filling the Patriot ‘brand’ for us, just told me this was the last one.
    Why is this happening? How is this okay? Is there really nothing that can be done to make a permanent change? How is Concerta so much harder to get than anything else – even my mom’s brain medication is easier than this!
    Please don’t let this legacy of suffering continue.

    1. Thank you, Vicky, for leaving that powerful message.

      I’m hoping that Janssen re-jiggers some deals so that brand Concerta is more affordable attained.

      Trump’s FDA chief created this mess. This gift to “Big Generic.”

      May they hoist themselves on their own petard.

      Take care
      G

  18. Gina! Wow, this is an amazing site and it’s the most helpful!!!

    Last month I started Concerta generic 18mg ER OSM TABLETS mfg Actavis from Walgreens. No major side effects (some dry mouth) minus the first two days of headaches and a clenched jaw by hour 5 on both days. As day 3-5 went on it already felt better.

    By week 3, I didn’t feel as productive or as focused and still had mind chatter but was productive in tasks, feeling better and hopeful and excited etc. Motivated.

    Yesterday, my doc upped to 36 mg which is fine as 5 day/ I accidentally took two 18s in the hour and got worried it would be too much, but it seemed fine! I told my doctor and he said it would be fine since it’s been three weeks or so.

    Anyway, I called around to get these 36mg Concerta generic and it was OUT EVERYWHERE! I called some 15 pharmacys around the valley for what they had in stock. Nothing.

    Until a CVS nearby had it! So I said yes. I had my pharmacy location changed and picked it up this morning. I took it at 8:10 and felt nothing. Until I did.

    Woah, what a difference. I kept waiting to “be focused,” or “motivated,” or even happy. Wait happy? I feel unhappy? I did. Annoyed and slight anxious. I felt a bit depressed but mixed with boredom and not sure why… An overall irritation (at nothing) in particular, and was aware of it. I simply got NOTHING DONE TODAY, other than reading about this drug and calling more pharmacists, insurance, and trying to get a hold of my doctor for 24 hours.

    Anyway, I came across your wonderful site and realized it must be this CVS TRIGEN generic. Omg I didn’t like it all. I was yawning through my day, sleepy, sluggish, and again annoyed, unexcited and bored.

    This is my day off from working and I was excited to bake and holiday prep and get things done and instead I’ve been laying in bed and the couch.

    Your article helped me realize they are NOT all created equal and I don’t want this.

    On the bright side, happy I chose Walgreens first, bc if I had tried CVS I would have ruled Concerta out all together so that’s a plus.

    Anyway. I am new to meds all together. I know I will not take the CVS ones. I almost thought I’d try one more day but after reading it seems like I can just TRUST MYSELF , BODY AND FEELINGS.

    I called the Walgreens Pharmacy and they have my old script of 18mg so I called back to my doc and left another message asking can my prescription be changed to 60 18mg. They said they’d get back to me, but I heard that yesterday.

    So, I made an appointment for his first available Monday, a full week from now. But better than nothing.

    Thanks for your site and clarification. I have much reading to do. Thanks for answering Blake’s question about the Concerta Coupon bc I’ve asked many Doc’s, pharmacy’s, tried calling insurance and nobody could help.

    I’d like to try Concerta for $4 but my Cigna plan doesn’t cover name brand Concerta. So at least I had ONE question of many, answered by you!!! Thank you!!!

    QUESTION FOR YOU:
    I read Actavis was no longer but that is my mfg. Does that mean Walgreens will switch these come Jan? Mine has a triangle on it with 725 and doesn’t look like that odd shaped , rounded yet strait edged Jannsen that I think is being discontinued as of Jan 2023.

    Just curious as I’d like to get ahead of this all for the holidays and next year.

    Also, wherever I can put my notes for TRIGEN I will. I have been using the Daily Bean app to track extensively moods, feelings, actions and a timed journal (I used to be a research analyst so I love data). Lol

    Anyway, so glad I took notes for myself bc Walgreens Concerta vs CVS is awful.

    If I wasn’t off work today, I’d be a mess trying to be around people, do my job and be kind. In fact, this TRIGEN brand is worse than being in nothing. This shouldn’t be legal.

    Thanks again!! Any help clarifying what exactly I’m taking is helpful as I’m overwhelmed with all the pharmaceutical company buy outs and what is what and what I’m taking and what is being discontinued! Have a great week and Happy Holidays!

    1. Hi KQ.

      I’m glad you found my post, too!

      And good for you, to navigating this Hot Mess.

      re: Actavis…..you might be thinking of the OLD Actavis. Actavis used to distribute the brand Concerta as an authorized-generic. So, folks got used to calling it the Actavis generic, even though Actavis had nothing to do with it. It was just a marketing deal to forestall the Actavis generic entering the market.

      Many years later, Actavis was purchased by Teva, which introduced the Actavis Concerta generic. With me so far?

      So…OLD Actavis Concerta generic….brand distributed as generic (authorized generic)
      NEW Actavis Concerta generic….its own generic, lacking Concerta’s key delivery system, Alza’s OROS.

      CVS, in my experience, is the worse. Since it was allowed to buy Aetna a few years ago, in an obscenely priced deal, it’s been a really “bad actor” in general re: Concerta generics.

      Walgreen’s has consistently been a better corporate citizen. But it has its limits.

      Sometimes pharmacies CHANGE generics.

      You could ask Walgreen’s to note on your file — ACTAVIS (or whatever generic you prefer) ONLY. Your doc might specify that on the script/electronic record.

      I can’t say from here, but the fact that you’ve followed all the details and have been tracking your responses….seems like it might be “working” for you. It’s hard to say, though, if you’ve never tried brand Concerta. Might be better. Might be worse!

      Good luck!
      g

    2. Don’t knock other mfg pills because it didn’t work for you! TRIGEN has been a miracle pill for me, but now trying to get it again is proving a nightmare, and the lesser generics aren’t a good fit for me. Everyone is different!

    3. Hi Meg,

      No one is “knocking” a medication just because it wasn’t right for them.

      Rather, people who have used Concerta to good effect should not be stuck with a random generic that in no way resembles Concerta.

      That is the issue — the lack of these generics’ bioequivalence to Concerta.

      If Trigen works for you, great. You are lucky. It does not work well at all for many others. More importantly, it does not work as Concerta works.

      good luck finding what works for you,
      g

  19. This is so depressing.

    Gina, thanks for everything you have done, and continue to do. The service you provide is priceless.

    Does anyone have a generic that they like (other than the Patriot one we all love?

    Or has anyone considered regular Ritalin? I started on that and it was good. When I remembered to take it. :).

    1. Thanks, Blake. I appreciate that.

      You might want to read through the existing comments. Some readers have mentioned their experience with various generics.

      The thing is, what works for them might work for you — or might not.

      As I mentioned in the post, if it were me, I’d be doing a weekend trial of one of the other MPH products, such as the patch (which is now a generic), Quillivant, or Quillichew. Though if one’s insurance policy doesn’t cover brand, the last two might not work.

      good luck!
      g

  20. How can one check if the Concerta savings card works with their insurance? Do we call our insurance company?

    I read the qualifications for the card and don’t fully understand.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Blake,

      My understanding is this: You bring the prescription to the pharmacy (or your prescriber electronically submits it).

      That’s the only way a pharmacy can tell if it will work with your insurance.

      Other factors that likely mean the card won’t work for you:

      1. Your insurance plan stipulates only generic medication, not brand.
      2. You live in MA or CA.

      For not, until the authorized-generic Concerta distributed by Patriot goes away mid-January, 2023, you might still be able to get it. As a generic, not a brand.

      g

  21. Life altering.

    My wife has tried to get me to brace myself for the day when this would happen. But I just refused to accept it. My quality of life will be affected. Period! And so will all of those around me.

    Will I die? No. Will I be less productive and harder to live with. Yes.

    No amount of medication “games” will fix this. I have what works for me and now that’s done. Sad.

    Thank you for all your work and information over the years. I would have gotten this far without you.

    1. Hi Craig

      You’re most welcome.

      I’m hoping that Janssen has been cutting some deals, to make the brand more affordable.

      And who knows, maybe the patch or other would work for you.

      Maybe you can get a trial of it now.

      Take care,
      G

    2. Doesn’t all of this- authorized generic and brand- come off the same production line? If one is ceasing, aren’t both?

      And even if that’s not the case, trying to get brand is a real goose chase. Tried to get it back at the beginning of the year through the new online pharmacy (OptumRX) that BCBS switched us to. After one cycle, they were out of brand and wouldn’t restock.

      No one local will go through the hassle for one patient. How a manufacturer can justify continuing to produce a medication if no one can access it is beyond me. The way forward was to at least make available a reduced cost version like the one we had. That had the possibility of retaining market share if priced properly.

      People who knew what made it special would have gone out of their way to obtain it.

    3. Hi Craig,

      If you’d like answers to your questions, it’s all here:

      https://adhdrollercoaster.org/adhd-medications/authorized-generic-concerta-update/

      Bottom line: The Trump White House appointed an FDA chief that overrode FDA scientists’ objections and pushed through a slew of these junk generics for Concerta.

      Janssen had made the authorized-generic available for many years. But when these pennies-to-produce junk generics flooded the market, it could no longer compete.

      No, the authorized-generic is discontinued but the brand continues. They are the SAME. The AG was just marketed as a generic.
      g

    4. Yes, I’ve kept up on the madness over the years based on your reporting. Quite aware of the low price situation as it relates to the garbage generics from the other companies.

      My point was that there had to be a price point that could still make the authorized generic viable for the manufacturer.

      The only thing I was unclear about was whether the name brand was still being produced. Is that being done at a separate location? Or on the same production line with it only being designated for name brand distribution?

      I can’t see how that is at all sustainable for said manufacturer. No insurer in their right mind can be paying for that. And there can’t enough people paying out of pocket to keep production profitable.

      Even if they are still producing it for name brand distribution, the real question is for how long? This ship has sailed and we’re all screwed.

      Enjoy your day. I’m going to call my doctor for an appointment to review my options. Then I’m going to start drinking heavily. Cheers!

    5. Hi again, Craig,

      As I wrote in response: No, the authorized-generic is discontinued but the brand continues. They are the SAME. The AG was just marketed as a generic.

      We don’t know what the price will be in January. As I wrote in the post, it might be that Janssen is cutting deals with pharmacies and insurance cos…. we can only wait and see.

      g

    6. Ultimately, you didn’t answer the most important question. Does Janssen have its own production line?

      If so, then we shall see. I’m not hopeful.

      The landscape is littered with examples of pharma companies pulling a bait and switch when it comes to medications. See Drixoral.

      As for your reference to National. Do you mean the online site for the pharmacy out of the UK? Dubious at best. Where are they getting there supply? Exactly!

      You are a great advocate and a wonderful resource for those struggling through the morass that is this shit show. But rainbows and sunshine aren’t going to fix this insanity. Or get me my medicine. Good luck.

    7. Craig,

      I have answered your question TWICE. lol! It is in EVERY blog post I’ve written on Concerta.

      BRAND=AUTHORIZED-GENERIC is the SAME THING. SAME PRODUCTION. The brand is only MARKETED as a generic.

      “Rainbows and sunshine”? That’s what you think I offer?

      I’ve guided people through the labyrinth for SIX years. I succeeded in getting the FDA to downgrade the first two generics.

      With no industry support whatsoever. See who else in ADHD online can make that claim.

      In this post, I suggest to start trying other MPH products, now.

      Not sure what more you could ask of me.
      g

  22. Just a thought for trying to get a create a groundswell of feedback that will be visible to the company and others – how about Twitter? I don’t have an account but might consider getting one for this. Gina – would @JanssenUS be the right handle to direct it at? Should we use/create a specific hashtag, such as #JanssenConcerta?

    On a separate note, if the patent has expired, why doesn’t another of the generic manufacturers produce the exact osmotic-pump technology already, regardless of Janssen’s blessing?

    1. Hi Kristi,

      I’m off Twitter. Never liked it. Definitely don’t like it now. But you’re free to give it a go.

      I can’t say for sure about the patent, but it’s probably safe to say Big Generic is too dang cheap to fork over the dough for Alza’s proprietary system.

      Alza might have a deal of exclusivity with Janssen, too.

      g

  23. I’ve been waiting 2 months to get my rx filled and have switched pharmacies twice. Yesterday, I asked Costco pharmacy to price out branded concerta, since I have met my deductible for the year. The prescription in question is for 36mg twice a day for 90 days (which normally costs me $300 before my deductible is met and $30 after it’s met). I was told my insurance will only grand a 30 day supply and the cost would be over $500 for Branded Concerta. Mind you, I have met my deductible. This has to be an error. There is no way the out of pocket price is $5,000. Also confused why they would limit quantity just because it’s branded. I took my chances and filled my rx for the Tigren generic. Has anyone had success with another branded generic? Please share. I may switch to Ritalin la if this doesn’t work

  24. My 19 year old son has tried all forms of methylphenidate over the course of his childhood. Concerta was the only medication that worked for him due to the OROS delivery system. He has been diagnosed with severe ADHD and requires Concerta to perform at a moderate academic level. It has been a huge struggle for the last 7-8 years to find a pharmacy to stock the authorized generic, but we’ve done it. Our insurance is an HMO and will pay for the authorized generic, but has already told us the brand Concerta is not covered. If you remove the authorized generic from the market, he will not be able to take any substitute. My son already struggles with school due to attention deficit, I cannot imagine what he faces with no medication. Please reconsider your decision to cease offering the authorized generic of Concerta to the marketplace.

    1. Please read more carefully. You are preaching to the choir, or rather, you went to the wrong concert(a). Gina is working tirelessly on our behalf so that authorized generic Concerta remains on the market and/or the brand becomes more affordable. Please redirect your question to the pharmaceutical company. (Maybe you thought that your response would be sent to the pharmaceutical company?)

    2. Hi Laura,

      I appreciate you sticking up for me! <3

      I do suspect Laura Gray was addressing her point to Janssen, as I mentioned at the end of the note to do so.

      cheers
      g

  25. This is incredibly frustrating for my family considering I have two kids that take this…. Yay, genetics!! Anyway, I’d like to hear experiences from people that have used the savings program. Brand will cost us upwards of $250/30-day supply for each kid with our insurance, but if the coupon program works it could be manageable with a great amount of effort and selling of organs or something. Otherwise, we’re looking for other options that are also dye-free…

    1. Hi Kat,

      We don’t know what will happen to the savings program in January.

      Right now, it works with insurance. So how it works for you depends on the terms of your insurance.

      Maybe just bring it to your pharmacy and see.

      good luck
      g

  26. I’ve been trying to get my Rx filled for over a month! I’m devastated, I’ve been in this medication for over 20 years. Having to take short acting is awful and not the same. I’m a mess and can’t wait to be myself again.

  27. Your website and the guidance you give has been invaluable to me and my son. We learned 2 years ago that my son’s Concerta would not be covered by insurance and that they would only cover a generic version. The first generic was a nightmare and made his ADHD symptoms worse. And then a new prescription couldn’t be written and filled for another 30 days, further making a bad situation worse! With your site, I was able to locate the Patriot brand generic by speaking with a pharmaceutical customer representative. Every 3 months I would go through the stress of making sure the prescription is written correctly by the doctor and speaking with the local pharmacist to ensure the right pills are ordered. To learn that Patriot isn’t going to be making the same generic version available is so disheartening. My insurance only covers generic, with brand name Concerta not eligible for any reimbursement. And a month’s supply of brand name Concerta will be over $800- $1,000 out of pocket according to GoodRX! These kids with ADHD struggle daily with self esteem and work so hard to keep it together. The OROS technology works like magic for some of them and really is life changing. I don’t know many people that can afford $12,000 a year for ADHD medicine. How can this be legal and ethical?

    1. Dear Nora,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m happy to know my work has helped you and your son.

      I am really hoping that, with this change, the brand will become more affordable. Fingers crossed!

      As to your question…how can this be legal and ethical?

      The hard truth is, Concerta went off patent many years ago. It’s only Janssen making the authorized-generic available all this time that many of us have afforded it.

      This is very rare. In fact, I can’t think of another case where this has happened.

      If you were reading in 2014, you saw that we succeeded in lobbying the FDA to downgrade the first two inferior generics. The FDA scientists agreed that they were not “bioequivalent.”

      Then the White House changed occupants, in 2017, and the Trump-appointed FDA chief overruled FDA scientists concerns and pushed through dozens of generics.

      He left shortly after but we are stuck with his stunt.

      Who knows…maybe Janssen would have discontinued the authorized-generic anyway. But this hot mess of junk generics made things so much worse.

      I hope you find something even better—or that we see more affordable access to brand in 2023.
      g

  28. FWIW, I found this:

    “Please be informed that Methylphenidate extended-release tablets manufactured by Ascent employs OROS tri-layer osmotic technology, an advanced drug delivery system similar to the Concerta OROS trilayer technology. The proposed generic drug product resemble to a conventional tablet, comprises an osmotically active, tri-layer inner core coated with a rigid semipermeable cellulose membrane and an outercoat of immediate release drug. The drug delivery is similar to Concerta.”

    1. Hi JR,

      Yeah….no. That’s PR.

      Many of the junk Concerta generics are claiming “osmotic technology.” If you read that closely, it’s full of contradictions.

      What is the source, please?

      tx
      g

  29. Gina, can you suggest which methylphenidate medication has the most similar profile to Concerta, to try first? Assuming I need to change my sons medication, I would like to go to his doctor with a suggestion – that seems to work best in my experience.

    1. Hi Sherry,

      I don’t know. To know the profile for each medication would require even more digging – and as an unpaid advocate who has saved folks $$$$ since 2014 but rarely receives even a $5 donation of “thanks” for this, I don’t have that kind of time. 🙂

      Even then, that would be for the brands only.

      The generics are all faking it, exploiting loopholes in which they claim the same profile.

      Right now, there is an apparent MPH shortage. I’d try for the less well-known Rx, as I suggest in the post. e.g. Quillichew, Quillivant, or the patch.

      good luck,
      g

    2. I understand, I was just hoping you had seen enough to know without the extra digging. Quillichew and Quillivant were at the top of my list. The patch was the first we tried back when my son was in grade school, and it worked well until he needed to increase the dose, then it irritated his skin too much to tolerate it. But, he is older now and that might not be the issue it once was.

      Thanks for all your help. You have been an incredible help through all of this.

    3. Hi Sherry,

      I understand. And I am glad you found my work helpful.

      When we talk about “profiles,” we’re talking about a very specific thing. Measurable. Documented. Part of the FDA approval process.

      So, without digging through all the applications for all the MPH brand drugs, I can’t even hazard a guess.

      Right now, I’d try Quillichew and Quillivant if only because they might be among the few MPH choices available — due to the MPH apparent shortage — that’s not a generic.

      They aren’t well known. Most MDs probably don’t know they exist. I have no idea about how pharmacy benefits might cover them.

      good luck!
      g

    1. Hi Moo,

      Do you mean the current Actavis or the old one?

      If you’ve read my blog since 2014, you’d know that the old Actavis WAS the authorized-generic. That is, it was the brand, with OROS.

      OROS is a super delivery system. These generics are bargain-basement basic. Big Generic exploited FDA loopholes.

      Janssen made that deal with Actavis, to forestall its generic.

      When that deal ran out, Janssen created a subsidiary to sell its authorized-generic (the brand sold as a generic)

      Then Teva bought Actavis and Teva was purchased by Accord, and at least in the UK, it’s unleashed its own inferior generic on the UK ADHD public.

      The NHS tells them with the money they’re saving they can help more people with ADHD.

      Which, frankly, is a crock. I know for a fact that the ADHD “division” or whatever it’s called is sitting on huge sums of money.

      They can’t hire enough staff and people are waiting 4 years for an evaluation.

      g

    2. REALLY?! Clearly, you haven’t been through what many of us have. If it were the same we would not be here nor would we be so upset! Please – no knee-jerk responses.

    3. Why this obsession with leaving unhelpful comments on a post where you obviously don’t even need to be? Oh hey, I’m happy on Actavis, let me Google about how the generic Concerta affects other people and dump my luck in life all over those people.
      Sometimes, you just have to put down the mouse and step away from the keyboard. Real people here are suffering. Actavis works just as well? Well good for you and bye. The rest of us here rely on Gina’s blog for our survival. So find another blog to dump your one liners at. Urgh!!!! I can’t even!
      PS: Gina, this year at Thanksgiving YOU will be what I’m thankful for.

    1. I guess it’s worth a shot, Brendan, but as the person who led the successful effort to have the FDA downgrade the first two generics….I am not optimistic.

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

      Trump’s FDA Chief opened the barn door for Big Generic. He’s back to the American Enterprise Institute, but these junk Concerta generics won’t go back in the barn. Too many of them, and they are all entrenched with CVS and the other bad actors.

      This administration’s hands seem tied, but of course it will be blamed by people who fail to listen to warnings or even to know what happened.

      STILL, IT’S WORTH FILING AN FDA MEDWATCH COMPLAINT
      if you experienced an adverse effect from a Concerta generic.

      g

    2. Hi again,

      If you want to try, it’s best to file a MedWatch complaint. When the first two inferior generics came out, in 2014, I contacted the FDA and spoke to an assistant to the director. She suggested that I open a MedWatch complaint.

      That’s how we did it. AS I said, I don’t hold out hope. The previous White House administration made this mess, and I can’t imagine the lawsuits against the FDA if they were to reverse it now.

      But….. https://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch-fda-safety-information-and-adverse-event-reporting-program
      Gina

    3. Sent. Dang I can’t believe this. I started it a week ago and it has been a game changer.

    4. I am newly diagnosed and it was a tough decision to try meds at all, to commit to taking a medication all the time as maintenance. I expected to have the first thing I took not work that well, but it has been great, exactly what I need, and now…well I’m extremely frustrated. I find dealing with insurance so stressful that it is a barrier to care for me, I’ll avoid care because getting my insurance company to actually cover things is so difficult sometimes. I’m concerned I’ll be in that situation again with this medication that works really well for me.

    5. I understand your concerns, Alice. I seriously do.

      Maybe take it one day at a time.

      Call your pharmacy benefit manager and see what ADHD medications ARE covered (as generic or brand).

      g

  30. Brendan Anderson

    to J&J: Why would you cancel authorized generics when they are increasing YoY? Doesn’t make any sense.

    1. Because it’s more complicated than that. 🙂

      Janssen has made the authorized-generic available for an unprecedented time. Long after the patent expired. I don’t know of another pharma that’s done anything like that.

      But Big Generic and its junk Concerta knockoffs spoiled the market. Now Janssen cannot compete in the generics market.

      g

  31. We recently received notification that our CVS/Caremark policy which has required branded Concerta for the last two years is switching back to *not* covering the name brand as of Jan 1st. So, generics are impossible to find and now they aren’t going to cover the branded product. This sounds like a fantastic combination of situations. Can’t wait.

    1. Im in the same boat Deborah. Cvs caremark covered brand for 2 years and now only covering generics or other drugs. So upset by this. My daughter needs the medication to function.

    2. Same exact boat. No generic available, and Caremark not covering the brand name at all. Who will actually buy brand Concerta now when it’s $500/month and insurance doesn’t cover it?

  32. Katherine Howe

    This is so upsetting. When I read the comment the other day about Patriot no longer distributing the authorized generic I figured some other company would pick it up. I’m very sad that it won’t be available AT ALL. My college daughter has taken this medicine since third grade. The inferior generics she tried didn’t work for her. Without her medication she cannot function.

    Kathy

    1. Hi Katherine,

      This is a long out-of-patent medication. The last couple of years Janssen, Concerta’s manufacturer, had been making it available as an authorized generic.

      No other company can “pick it up” — the authorized generic is the brand. It’s just marketed as the generic. And the brand is proprietary.

      g

  33. I have been able to get the brand through my insurance successfully for the last few years. For 2023, I’m told we need Prior authorization.

    If we don’t get it, then I assume I’m paying out of pocket using GoodRX for Brand. At this time in her studies, we cant afford any medicine changes.

    Am I missing something else I can do?

    Thanks Gina for this.

    1. Any more guidance on what I can do Gina in this case Gina.
      She has to take Brand. So if insurance doesn’t cover or we don’t get Prior approval , we are stuck with out of pocket cost?

  34. Katherine Biscoe

    Hello Gina, a woman at Patriot named Noreen has been extremely helpful in the past. Here is her number:
    +1 (215) 325-7676
    Also, where do I leave a comment for J&J executives?
    Thank you for all your work!
    Kate

    1. Hi Katherine,

      1. Yes, I’m the one who publicized the Patriot # a long time ago. We’re beyond that now. 🙁
      2. Leave your comment right here.

      thanks!
      g

  35. Bruce J. Turner

    This is crushing news. I have been taking the “authorized generic” for many years. My original scripts were for the 54 mg pills, but, as long as I am not actively teaching, I discovered some years ago that the 36 mg dose worked adequately. I am retired and teach only episodically, but when I do I use the higher dose (I have a “stash,” stored in a deep freeze). At some point, the big chain store pharmacies in my area (Kroger, CVS) could no longer obtain the authorized generic, but, eventually, I asked a local independent pharmacy to obtain it and they were able to source it directly from Patriot. During the interim period I tried several of the fake generics, but they were completely ineffective, and one brand made me consistently quite dizzy. I have severe ADD and often have serious difficulty focusing and completing tasks.; aging hasn’t helped (I am 77). I am utterly reliant on the authorized generic/Concerta oros technology. Other stimulants do not work nearly as well (I’ve tried almost all of them at one time or another). If I cannot obtain the authorized generic, my quality of life, including my ability to take care of myself and tend to my needs, will almost certainly be compromised or degraded. My health challenges include RA, complicated by Sjogren’s syndrome. I have been able to slow the inevitable decline that these conditions entail by the use of drugs, daily exercise routines, and strict diet regimens. Managing these requires relatively high levels of mental alertness, focus, and organization – and these are notoriously in short supply with ADD patients like myself. Thus, my ability to manage the progression of the disease that will very likely shorten my life, and has already degraded its quality, directly depends on access to authorized generic concerta. I am at a loss as to what I might do when it is no longer available. I don’t think I will be able to afford the “brand.”

    1. Hi Bruce,

      I hate being the bearer of this disturbing news.

      You might want to think about drafting a letter, getting your information together on which other generics you tried and the adverse effects. Your physician could submit it in hope of your insurance company (or is it Medicare) approving brand Concerta.

      best of luck to you (and us all!)

      g

  36. It sounds like your insurance is equivalent to mine – I had trouble getting the authorized generic for my son for a while, so I got him approved for the name brand, only to find out we had to meet the deductible before it made a difference, and we have rarely spent $6000 in a year that applies to the deductible. He tried 3 of the generics, and every one of them was worse than not taking anything. Most of the day he either had too much or too little medicine in his system, and that just doesn’t work. We really need to get the approval process changed to include more proof that the generic will work like the name brand! That is the only way this kind of issue will end.

    1. Hi Sherry,

      That ship sailed in 2017. We can’t turn back the clock. Elections have consequences and Trump’s FDA Chief brought us here with these generics.

      It wasn’t FDA scientists. They protested — and were over-ruled.

      If you’re in open enrollment now, you might want to think about getting a lower out-of-pocket, if you can’t get the brand.

      g

    2. Changing insurance won’t help – NONE available to me have coverage of brand Concerta, they only cover the generics. According to Walgreens, the only reason I have been able to get the authorized generic is because Texas Medicaid would only pay for it, not name brand and not any other generic. Now that is not an option, and I have no idea what we will do. The last time we were unable to get the authorized generic (for about 6 months), we were unable to find an adequate replacement. Looks like the 2nd half of my son’s senior year will a difficult one.

  37. I am absolutely going to cry. I’m sitting hear looking at the title of this blog post, stunned, and I’m going to cry for my college daughter. She just moved from a pediatrician to using student health doctor to get her prescription written just right and was out of medication for over a week getting things straight. And now this? She barely holds her pieces together and now… I am absolutely devastated.

    We used to have insurance that only paid for the brand, but with the proliferation of crap generics, the insurance no longer pays for the brand. Gina – I appreciate your doing this before open enrollment, but apart from increasing my flex pay withholdings (which would never be enough to pay $6k out of pocket next year), if insurance plan does not cover the brand, then I have found the Concerta coupon is not usable.

    It is corporate greed.

    Thinking about this, I wonder if this decision is related to the power given to Medicare to negotiate with the drug companies for senior’s prescription costs. Now these companies need a different avenue for revenues.

    1. HI Monica,

      I know. So disappointing and affecting so many people’s lives.

      Did you read the post? I doubt it has anything to do with Medicare. That’s not the target group for Concerta. (Not yet!)

      It has to be directly related to the Trump White House FDA chief cursing us with these junk generics. They cost pennies to make. Concerta’s OROS is much more expensive. How can it compete?

      Let’s hope we can figure this out.

      take care
      g

  38. Noooooo! My daughter needs this medication every day. Insurance will not cover the brand name, and they have the best capsule release system. What are we supposed to do? This makes me want to cry.

  39. This is NOT good in tandem with other news I received today from our pharmacist.

    My child takes the unauthorized generic Concerta and it works fine for them. The pharmacy just called me today and said there is a backorder on generic Concerta. They will not be able to fill it for us next month. All dose levels too. My child cannot attend school without it. We will have no choice to go on the brand name Concerta, which is fine. However, I’m worried that with the backorder on generic, the brand name will become scarce too.

    It may be because of the Adderall shortage that doctors are moving patients to generic Concerta, causing generic Concerta to now have a shortage. Lesson is: Refill as soon as you can. I fear that bad situation is about to get worse.

    1. Hi there, Wow, so a methylphenidate shortage, it seems, at least with some companies.

      I agree. Plausible theory/ COVID-related push to diagnosis and treatment resulted in over-prescribing of Adderall. Typical phenomenon, however wrong-headed.

      So, maybe those people are burning out on Adderall and are moving to Concerta or other MPH stimulants.

      good luck!
      g

      The DEA limits amounts of raw ingredients for stimulants annually, and I imagine the amount has not been increased.

  40. Gina,
    Please let us know what more we can do to encourage Janson to keep an authorized generic because it insures the quality of Concerta. I have personally written Jansen and never heard back. My own child tried a non authorized generic when she was 16 and the side effects were frightening. She had what I would consider a psychotic episode. Her behavior was so concerning my husband would not allow her to leave the house or drive for 24 hours. Concerta when formulated properly is a wonderful med and has helped our now young adult daughter be successful academically and socially.

  41. Years ago, early on in our ADHD Treatment Plans, my son and I both were prescribed Concerta; I can still vividly recall the miraculously positive effects of my first therapeutic-level dose of Concerta–and my son also benefitted.

    Unfortunately, we also both had the misfortune of being switched to a useless “Concerta” Generic (one without Concerta’s unique delivery system). Its appearance was easily seen to be different, and in one dose, it was clear that it was not therapeutic–at all.

    (Reminds me of the time I picked up a pair of new glasses with a my new prescription, reflecting my slightly changed vision; they seemed off, right away, but I was encouraged to give them a try. Within hours of constant wearing of the new glasses, I had blurred vision in one eye, headaches, and some dizziness. When I returned to my eyecare center the next week, someone discovered the Optician had erroneously recorded incorrect numbers for the one (blurry), eye. After the lense was replaced with the actual, correct prescription numbers, I could see clearly again–headache-free, with no dizziness!)

    It pains me to think of the many people who currently rely on the efficacy of “Concerta”–who will with–or without–warning be made to endure the stress (and potential danger) of taking a useless “Concerta” generic. It is baffling, and truly unacceptable that this can be happening–especially after the recent bad history of Concerta Generics. It’s enraging, but ultimately heart-breaking.
    I will now proceed to try to Boycott all Johnson & Johnson Products.

  42. Hi, my name is Anna, and I am currently a senior in college studying film and graphic design.

    I have been taking ADHD medicine since I’ve been in elementary school; throughout middle and high school, I remember trying so many different types of ADHD medicine.

    It wasn’t until I came across Concerta (Patriot authorized-generic) that I finally found the right ADHD medicine. As a senior college student studying film and graphic design, I am getting ready for next semester to work on two of the most significant projects I have ever gotten in college.

    You would think the only thing I should be stressing about is making sure my senior projects go as smoothly as they can, but once I heard the news that now I might not have my ADHD medicine has been putting a little more stress on me than it should have.

    I remember one day, I sadly forgot to take my ADHD medicine before heading to work. At the time, I was a graphic designer for my school, and my boss asked me to fix one basic thing on a poster, and it ended up taking me three hours to do because I kept getting distracted by every small thing.

    The next day I had a meeting with my boss, and she almost fired me because of how long it took me to fix the poster; thankfully, I didn’t get fired, but I was close to it.

    This is just one situation of me not taking my ADHD medicine. I know I will have all next semester to work on my senior projects, but I am now worried it might take me twice as long because I won’t have my ADHD medicine. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make sure the Concerta Patriot brand will be available next year.

    Thank you,
    Anna

  43. This is so wrong on their part. I FINALLY got it all straightened out with my Dr and the idiot Walgreens I have to use (they literally have a 1.5* rating they are so bad). I hope I can get another 90 day and figure it out in the time frame.

    As a side note for people that had issues with other generics (actual side effects). Document that and you may have to have your doctor fill out the paperwork with your insurance for a ‘Prior Authorization’ which would allow you to get name brand under your coverage that only covers generic. I had spoken to my insurance about it as they don’t cover name Concerta, and I had gone through 4 pharmacies trying to order the Patriot, all of which refused. I basically pleaded to them and asked ‘how can a pharmacy REFUSE to order a prescription that is specifically prescribed by my doctor??? At some point someone has to order it…’ it wasn’t even about the payment at that point. It was that every pharmacy refused to order it. I would have gone brand, but brand wasn’t covered by my insurance.

    1. Hi Jackie,

      I hear your frustration.

      Actually, Walgreen’s came through for many years, for Concerta authorized-generic users. When few other pharmacies did. Including CVS.

      But these pharmacies have been, for the most part, losing money filling these prescriptions.

      The problem is the inferior generics are so cheap.

      A pharmacy can refuse to order a medication that they cannot get or that is not covered by your insurance, but state laws vary.

      good luck,
      g

    1. super disappointed as it looked like concerta was going to be a hit for me and now i have to change insurance companies in january with one of my options covering barely any MPH based medications 🙁

  44. Leah Matthias

    I am a 75-year-old woman who has been taking Concerta and then the Patriot brand generic for at least 25 years. My husband and children can attest to the fact that it helps me significantly. I am extremely sensitive to the other generics that make me dizzy, nauseated and feeling out of control. Being on Medicare means that I can’t even get the brand name cheaper. I am very upset.

    1. I’m so sorry to have upset you, Leah. I was pretty upset when I heard the news, too, thinking about the potential impact on so many.

      Who knows…maybe new deals will be cut and you can get the brand. Or, you might find that a non-Concerta stimulant works well for you.

      There are many other methylphenidate choices.

      Thanks for your comment, and good luck!

      g

  45. Just tried to fill my prescription for BRAND Concerta and was told by my Nashville Walgreen’s that “there is a manufacturing issue (not a distributor issue) and we don’t know when we’ll be able to get BRAND Concerta again”.

  46. Absolutely unbelievable. It was extremely time-consuming and difficult to get the Patriot version of Concerta on the regular. When I finally solved that issue, Janssen makes the ridiculous (and apparently self-serving) decision to cease offering it (all without any type of advanced notice). This is going to leave a huge void in patient care. This was the only medication that worked well for my two kids. This is highly disappointing and beyond incredibly frustrating.

  47. I can only hope my employer doesn’t switch back to BlueCross as our insurance provider. If we do, I’ll have to change medications, or go without medication. We currently have United Healthcare, and United only covers brand name medications for ADHD medications.

    1. Aaron, Do you know if that UHC policy (Brand only for ADHD Meds) applies to ALL their many different plans, or perhaps just your particular type of plan? Also, do you mean to say that they WON’T cover generics, even if that’s what the patient wants and Dr. prescribes? It’s one thing to be ABLE to get Brand, but another to be FORCED to do so. I need to pick a new insurance company soon, so any further info you can provide about United Healthcare’s Prescription Policy would be greatly appreciated!

    2. Hi Ann — I’ll pipe in. I have heard some insurance plans covering ONLY the Concerta brand.

      I would check first-hand with any plan you are considering. Plans differ, even within the same provider.

      g

  48. Patricia Thompson

    I guess none of the executives truly care about the people who rely on concerta. Now my poor 9 year old will have to go back to headaches, nausea, and inability to concentrate like he experienced on the other generics. Disgusting and horribly frustrating!

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