National Consumers League

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What consumers need to know about Rx drug substitution

If you take prescription medication, there’s a good chance that someday you’ll be asked to switch from your current drug to a new one. There are many reasons, including costs to you or your insurer, changes in your insurance coverage, or new drugs coming on the market. Therapeutic substitution can offer benefits, but it can also pose risks. The key to ensuring your safety when making a switch is full transparency.

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Benefits and risks of therapeutic substitution

Therapeutic substitution can be a good thing, but it also poses some risks. The key to making the right decision for you regarding a potential switch is having open lines of communication between patients, doctors, and health insurance plans. It’s important to understand the reason for a switch, and the possible downsides, to make a smart decision.

Read more: Benefits and risks of therapeutic substitution

Common therapeutic drug substitutions

Therapeutic substitution, known also as drug switching and therapeutic interchange, is the practice of replacing a patient’s prescription drugs with chemically different drugs that are expected to have the same clinical effect. Many times patients switch to a different drug with no problems. However, for certain medications and conditions, therapeutic substitution could cause problems.

Read more: Common therapeutic drug substitutions