Generic versus Name-Brand Medication

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For more than a decade, Ashok Pinnamaraju has been working as a pharmacist. He began his career as an overnight pharmacist at Walgreens and has since served as the owner of Lexcare Pharmacy and Floyd Pharmacy. Currently, Ashok Pinnamaraju leads Williamson Road Pharmacy in Virginia as owner and works with clients to ensure they get the medications they need at an affordable price.

Contrary to popular belief, generic medications are tightly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Typically, the FDA lets generic medications enter the market after about seven years of a brand-name drug’s exclusivity. For the first six months after generics are allowed, only a single generic manufacturer is allowed to sell the medicine. After that period, any manufacturer can sell a generic medication, but it must prove that it meets certain requirements.

All generic drugs are required by the FDA to have the same active ingredients as name-brand medication. These active ingredients must also be of the same strength as name-brand medications, have the same route of administration, and contain the same dosage. Furthermore, the drug’s concentration in the blood needs to be within 10 percent of the name brand’s concentration. However, most medications only vary by about 3 to 4 percent.

One area that the FDA does not regulate is the inactive medications in the generic medication. Because generic medications may contain an inactive ingredient that can cause an allergic reaction or has a negative interaction with another medication, it is important for the consumer to be aware of these differences. Some inactive ingredients may also slow down how quickly the active ingredients work once in the body, meaning a generic medication may seem to work more slowly than name-brand medication. Still, this difference is usually not very large.


APhA’s Lead360 Program


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Lead360 Program

A graduate of Oregon State University, Ashok Pinnamaraju holds a PhD in pharmacy and possesses more than 10 years of experience in the field. The owner of Williamson Road Pharmacy in Roanoke, Virginia, Ashok Pinnamaraju stays abreast of changes in the field through his membership in organization such as the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

Since 1852, APhaA has been supporting pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. One of the many programs maintained by the organization is Lead360, a part of the APhA’s Leadership 360 Institute. The program is designed to provide pharmacists with management and leadership skills.

The Lead360: The Leader Within program is a live experience that prepares pharmacists for leadership roles within their community, profession, and among their health care teams. The in-person offering helps participants demonstrate their motivations to lead, recognize the importance of following their interests, and realize their leadership strengths and weaknesses.

The program features small groups and individualized attention, with one facilitator for every 12 participants. After the program is completed, professionals can continue their leadership development by participating in a three-month virtual experience. This experience includes 30-minute webinars to watch every other week, along with 60-minute small cohort calls with a facilitator and three to five other professionals.

Getting the Best Price for Your Medication


Williamson Road Pharmacy pic

Williamson Road Pharmacy

The owner of Williamson Road Pharmacy in Roanoke, Virginia, Ashok Pinnamaraju possesses more than a decade of experience as a pharmacist. Over the years, Ashok Pinnamaraju has built a reputation for helping customers get their medications at low prices.

One of the first steps to ensure you’re getting the best price for your medication is to talk to your physician. Provide your physician with a list of medications approved by your insurance company so he or she can choose the least expensive option for your treatment.

Talk to your pharmacist about your medication options as well. Pharmacists are best suited for finding generic medications that can save you money. Further, your pharmacist may be able to offer you lower prices for certain medications.

Drug prices can be up to 10 times higher at some retail pharmacies than at others. For this reason, you should research pharmacy prices in your area.

Compare regular retail pharmacies to independent ones. In many cases, independent pharmacies offer lower prices. Buying medication online may also be an option, but you won’t get the same personal attention online that you would get from a local pharmacy.

Ways to Increase Value at Pharmacies


Williamson Road Pharmacy pic

Williamson Road Pharmacy

Independent pharmacist Ashok Pinnamaraju serves as the owner of Williamson Road Pharmacy in Roanoke, Virginia. Possessing more than 10 years of experience, Ashok Pinnamaraju is committed to providing his customers with high-quality service and reasonable prices.

Here are a few ways pharmacy owners can increase the value of their business without raising the prices of their medication:

Add services. Adding more services without raising prices can be tricky but is not impossible. Think about adding flu shot services, compounding, or medication synchronization, which ensures multiple prescriptions for a client are filled on the same day each month. All these services add value and encourage more customers to come.

Add direct lab testing. With this service, customers can get certain lab tests without visiting their physicians. This helps customers save on travel expenses, lab fees, time, and co-pays. Direct lab testing is a huge convenience for customers and makes a pharmacy much more appealing.

Bundle products. Bundling moves inventory faster, makes customers feel as if they are getting more value, and increases pharmacy revenue without raising the price of medications.