The Dangers of Drug Switching
Some Floridians walk into the pharmacy expecting one drug, only to walk out with something different. It’s called drug switching, and it’s perfectly legal in Florida.
However, medical professionals are seeking change, according to the Capitol News Service.
Drug switching is a practice started by insurance companies to save money by switching original drugs to cheaper generic versions. Sometimes, a patient can be issued a completely different drug.
Drug switching can be even more dangerous for patients suffering from mental illnesses or neurological disorders.
Neurologist Lucas Koberda said the medication he prescribes his patients is so specific that a slight change in the chemical makeup can cause major problems.
“Especially for the patients with epilepsy, it’s very crucial and important that the medication, which are brand or trade names, are not substituted by genetic medication," Koberda said.
Three states have already passed legislation to ban drug switching for epilepsy patients. Last year, legislation to prevent the practice was filed but never taken up by the Florida legislature.
There are some things to you can do to make sure your prescription isn’t switched. Have your doctor write D-A-W on the prescription. It means "dispense as written." The note will direct your pharmacist to follow the doctors orders, but it doesn’t mean your insurance company will pay for the drug.