Medical Food Generics Dispensed as Prescription Substitutes May Not Be Equivalent
Last Updated on June 26, 2017
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At A Glance
- This Alert Affects
- Patients who were prescribed Metanx, Deplin, Neevo, Neevo DHA, Cerefolin or CerefolinNAC and were instead dispensed a nonequivalent medical food generic.
- These patients may be able to collect compensation for the cost of their medical product.
- Pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens have allegedly been substituting prescription medical foods for generic alternatives which are not therapeutically equivalent.
- Additional Details
- Metanx, Deplin, Neevo, Neevo DHA, Cerefolin and CerefolinNAC are advertised as having a unique formula which provides active forms of folate and certain B vitamins. These medical foods / supplements are prescribed for a number of conditions, including the dietary management of diabetic neuropathy and impaired metabolic processes.
Consumers who were dispensed certain medical food generics, which may not be therapeutically equivalent to the prescription product, may have legal recourse if their pharmacist dispensed:
- Folast, Neurpath-B or Duleek Met as a Metanx generic
- LMethylfolate calcium tablets as a Deplin substitute
- PNV Iron as a Neevo generic
- PNV-DHA Plus as a Neevo DHA substitute
- Enfolast as a Cerefolin generic
- Enfolast-N as a CerefolinNAC substitute
Medical Food Generics May Not Be Equivalent
According to advertisements, Metanx, Deplin, Neevo, Neevo DHA, Cerefolin and CerefolinNAC have a unique formula which provides active forms of folate and certain B vitamins to meet specific nutritional needs. Unlike medical foods containing folic acid, these branded prescription products have the naturally occurring, active form of folate used by the body. Reportedly, medical food generics being dispensed as substitutes for these prescription products are not therapeutically equivalent.
Pharmacy Alerts on Medical Food Generics
Pharmacy alerts were distributed to various pharmacies, such as Walgreen and CVS, to caution pharmacists on lack of therapeutic equivalence between certain prescription medical foods and generic products allegedly being dispensed as substitutes. According to these alerts, the labels on the alleged generics for Metanx, Deplin, Neevo, Neevo DHA, Cerefolin and CerefolinNAC do not imply or state that they are therapeutically equivalent to or can be dispensed as substitutes for the prescription products. According to PamLab, which manufactures Metanx, Deplin, Neevo, Neevo DHA, Cerefolin and CerefolinNAC, the maker of the alleged generics has provided no data to indicate that the generic products are equivalent to the branded products. Rather, PamLab has announced that the maker of these alleged medical food substitutes have not performed any tests in compliance with uniformly accepted quality control or good manufacturing practices. Still, many pharmacies are reportedly continuing to dispense nonequivalent generics for these branded prescription products.
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