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Birth Control Message Board

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I'm not sure about the costs in Canada, but in the States the generic of Alesse (Aviane, manufactured by Barr Pharmaceuticals) is about $20-30 for a months supply. This is without insurance. Of course, it would most likely be much cheaper then that for you (I am again, very unfamiliar with the Canadian health care system).

As far as the actual physical difference between the brand and the generic goes, there isn't much to be concerned about. The active ingredients in the medications will always be exactly the same. The active ingredients being, of course, the most important part. The inactive ingredients (or fillers) will often be the same as or very similar to the brand medication. Often concern is only needed for people with specific allergies to a filler (although, this is very rare).

The difference in cost isn't a result of the generic manufactures using cheaper ingredients as filler. Generic drugs are less expensive simply because the manufacture doesn't have the extra costs required of brand medications (i.e... development, advertising, drug reps.) Generic drugs are established medications that doctors have already been made aware of and are already prescribing. Therefore, the cost is often just the result of the manufacturing product, some minor advertising to pharmaceutical distributors, and perhaps cost of buying the patent.

In fact, many generic medications are actually manufactured by the same company that makes the brand (or a subsidiary of that company). It's all politics.

I also believe that Barr is a popular company in Canada. They have a highly established reputation in Women's Health products. In the States, they're probably responsible for manufacturing more generic birth control products then any other company (although, I could be wrong on that statistic). Barr is of course also known for "Plan B", which is manufactured by it's subsidiary Duramed.

In my experience (working in a pharmacy as well as taking the generic Alesse myself) the generic form of this medication is very much reliable and cost effective. It's never bad to save a few dollars if your going to get the same results!

I hope this information helped! Good luck with the switch if you make it!

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