Prof Atholl Johnston, Barts London School of Medicine & Dentistry, UK

In this free-access CardioEd resource from the recent Cardiology Update 2016 meeting organised by St George’s, University of London, UK, Prof Atholl Johnston, Professor of clinical pharmacology at Barts London School of Medicine and Dentistry-Queen Mary University of London, UK, talks about the challenges of using generic drugs.

The Cardiology Update 2016 meeting focused on heart failure management and stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation.

What are the challenges posed by generic heart failure drugs?
The challenges of generics are really monitoring whether we are getting good quality generics or not. We can’t deny generics. Generics are a fact of life, something in terms of our healthcare that we need to embrace because they do save money. But they are only going to save us money if what we prescribe people is quality generics, and we need to be alert to that and we need to be alert to the quality of the generics.

And so, I would say to clinicians and pharmacists who are using and dispensing generics that they need to be alert to any problems that patients report to them about the use of particular generics. And if they think there’s a problem they should use the Yellow Card System to report adverse events or even treatment failure – because that’s another issue with substandard [generics] where there isn’t enough drug, so you get treatment failure.