Allergic to Generics
Brenna, Troyen A.
Lee, Thomas H.
Annals of Internal Medicine 2004 July 20; 141(2): 126-130
A 69-year-old woman with several medical problems believes that she is allergic to generic medications. She frequently conflicts with her long-time primary care physician, who, as required by the patient's insurance coverage, refuses to prescribe brand-name drugs when generic alternatives are available. This conflict intensifies to a crisis when the patient develops life- threatening problems and still will not take prescribed generic medications. The presentation of this real case is accompanied by a discussion of the ethical dilemmas of the patient's physician, who must weigh the interests of a patient who clings to beliefs that the physician thinks are unfounded against the interests of a just rationing program and the broader population it serves.
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