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No more generic Oxycontin - again!?

QuiltinouslyQQuiltinously Posts: 152
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Pain Medications
Hi Spine Friends,

Today, instead of paying a $15 co-pay for my one month's supply of generic Oxycontin 20mg pills, I walked away empty handed. According the the pharmacist, the lawsuit of a couple of years ago was recently appealed and Oxycontin's makers won. No more generic will ever be made. Thus, I was told my cost was now over $450 per month! My insurance cost will eventually drop the brand name down to half off after I meet a deductible. :-(

Is my pharmacist correct? It's Saturday night and I now need to either pay $450 for these meds or wait until Monday and hope that I can talk someone into selling me the rest of their generic supply or some other idea. Thankfully, I have a few days of supply still.

She also told me that the formula for Oxycontin was changing and that would drive the cost up even more. The new formula is to stop drug addicts from snorting and smoking it - or whatever they do when they use it illegally.

I've not been on the forums in a while. I occasionally come on and read. Mostly, I don't feel any better, worse even. It hurts to type, so I avoid it. But tonight, I could use the input.

Thanks in advance.


  • Dee,

    Greetings, don't think we've met yet. :) My Toprol is like that per my insurance. I can't handle the generic for it. Well my insurance knuckled down, so it is nul now.

    $450 for a months supply!!! That's why my OMG. Can your doctor prescribe something of similar strength and effect for you? Is your doctor aware of this change? Last thought (slash) question, can you call your insurance and see what the doctor has to put on the prescription so your 'non' generic price can be reasonable? My doctor put on the script "Patient incompatible with generic, brand name only." The co-pay went down to like $18 dollars from like $95!!

    Just some thoughts there. I sure hope they can figure something out for you soon. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Just an idea, can you buy a couple of pill to get you through until Monday, and then work it out? Have you called other pharmacies to find out if they still have generic in stock?

    I don't take Oxy so I don't know, but these are a couple of ideas to get you through the weekend!
  • I got a letter from my insurance company that they would no longer cover generic Oxy. I did not know what to do as I have tried Fentynl Patch, Dilaudid and many others that I just could not tolerate. Finally neurologist prescribed Oxy ER and what a difference it made. I called my ins co and they said to have the Dr write on the script
    BRAND NAME MEDICALLY NECESSARY. Currently my co-pay is 45.00 but the med is actually over 450.00 so once I hit the donut hole I am on medicare part d and have a supplemental ins policy I will have to pay the 450. don't know what I will do at that point. Even the generic is quite expensive. This was my experience with this situation. Everyone's experience could be different so just giving my input. Good luck to all those who find this med to be helpful with this awful pain we go through.
  • I wonder how much of a mark up $450 really is??? I mean...if it were a chemotherapeutic agent I could see the cost, but give me a break!!

    Dee, I can only offer up my hope that you are able to get this issue resolved on Monday, and hopefully get through the weekend without extreme pain.

    I agree with Jan, and I only use brand name thyroid hormone replacements directed by my physician...which is the only reason the pharmacy will accommodate me, and they never want to do that. I have gone round and round with them about the difference in generic and brand...they now know me by name...(its not a nice name, though), but it is my health in question.

    I'm going to my first PM doctor this week, and am interested in an extended release med myself, and will be curious to know how you fair with this, Dee.

    I worked with my PM doctor before my fusion, so I will ask him about the oxycontin question when I see him on Tuesday.

    Take care,


  • Hi again,

    Thanks for your input. I thankfully have enough meds through Monday, so I do not need to worry about getting through until after Monday. My pharmacist is going to call my insurance and I am going to call my doctor as a heads up.

    There is not much we can do when powerful drug companies are able to charge way more for a med than it could possibly have cost to design and manufacture it. I guess they want the extra to get rich and to pay for lawsuits.

    Let's keep each other up to date on the forum on this.
  • I think I read somewhere that Purdue's exclusive rights to OxyContin expire in 2013, so you may see extended-release oxycodone generics start to appear in a few years.
  • Is Oxy contin a lot more effective than MS-contin? MS-contin is still avaiable via generic.

    I'd say it's somthing to ask your doctor about, but something tells me that if you could be taking MS contin you would be.
  • Ok I'll ask the stupid question because I am sure others have the same question. What is the difference between Percocet, oxycodone, oxycontin, ms-contin and the other similar drugs? I am guessing that some are name brand and some generic and that some are instant,short term while others are slow release, long lasting.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    is really between the (ER) Extended Relief vs the (IR) Immediate Relief pain medications.

    Hydrocodone or dihydrocodeinone is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from either of two naturally occurring opiates, codeine and thebaine
    Hydrocodone and compounds containing it are marketed, in varying forms, under a number of trademarks, including Vicodin, Hydrococet, Symtan, Anexsia, Damason-P, Dicodid, Hycodan (or generically Hydromet), Hycomine, Hycet, Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Novahistex, Hydrovo, Duodin, Kolikodol, Orthoxycol, Panacet, Zydone, Mercodinone, Synkonin, Norgan, Xodol and Hydroko

    Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic medication synthesized from opium-derived thebaine

    MS Contin is a brand of a time-released formulation of morphine sulfate, usually taken every twelve hours for chronic pain

    Oxymorphone (Opana, Numorphan, Numorphone) or 14-Hydroxydihydromorphinone is a powerful semi-synthetic opioid analgesic

    Over the years, I have taken almost all of the above. Is one stronger or more effective than another? What I've noticed is that after taking anyone of those for a long period of time, your body adjusts. I was using Oxycontin and Oxycodone for several years, and after a while, I did not have the same results. My doctor switched me to the Opana ER and Straight Opana and it made a world of difference. But is one chemically stronger than the other? There has been some discussions about this, but I have not seen any formal written proof.

    In my area, we have not been able to get any of the Oxy-generics for about 2 years now.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846

    Oxycontin $ 70
    Oxycodone $ 42

    Oxycontin $340
    Oxycodone $134

    Opana ER $236
    Opana $ 72

    Now, these are the costs that my Insurance plan identifies as total cost, not what the insurance pays and not what my co-pay has been.

    For the Oxyxxxx its always been $10 co-pay
    For the Opanaxx its always been $25 co-pay
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Hi Ron and all,

    Thanks for the detailed replies, Ron!!! This is really helpful info. I did not realize that Opana is a similar med. Maybe it would work for me? I've been on Oxycontin for about 3 years except for a one month break when I tried MS Contin.

    To answer the question about MS Contin for HappyHBMom... for me, it was not as good. My doctor and I agreed to switch from Oxycontin to MS Contin, but after less than a month and feeling my daily pain too much, we switched back. Surprisely, there is not need to taper or slowly adjust from one to the other since they are so similar chemically - but not similar, for me anyway, in effectiveness.

    If anyone else had a similar or different experience with MS Contin vs. Oxycontin, please chime in.

  • I've taken MS contin, oxycontin and Kadian (all extended release). The Kadian did pretty well I have to say, but my insurance copay jummped to $250 so I couldn't afford it. B/n the oxy and ms, the oxycontin works a lot better for me.
  • I learned today that my insurance won't pay for any Oxycontin brand pills under the plan I have with my husband's company. I posted above that they'd pay half of the $450 after a deductible but I was mis-informed. They pay nothing for this med!

    This leaves me with 3 choices: I will need to pay for it entirely at $450 a month - or get a new drug - or a new insurance company.

    For this month, my pharmacist found 51 Oxycontin generic pills for me, but I needed 120. I'm not sure where she found them, but it saves me money. Today, I was able to buy those with my co-pay for $15. For the remaining 69 pills, I had to pay for those out of pocket. These ones cost $210 after a $70 Oxycontin manufacturer's "coupon".

    I cannot change insurances, nor can we afford $450 a month for one medication. I asked the pharmacist what else she recommended to replace it. She said there was not a good replacement. She suggested a new insurance. My husband said it won't happen. So I guess I have two choices. They all stink. :-(

    I asked my pharmacist about Opana (as Ron mentioned it), and she said that my insurance won't pay for it. I looked online and the medication my insurance recommends instead of Oxycontin is the fentanyl patch. How would I know if that is a good match for me? Any other ideas that aren't expensive?


  • Dee would your doctors office be willing to call your insurance to see if they will make an exception? Your doctors office would maybe have to lay it on thick and say this is the only med for you and this is why blah blah blah. Just a thought it might be worth a shot sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Or sometimes the b*&%^ has to come out but only if really need be. :smile:" alt=":smile:" height="20" />

    MSContin- does not work at all for me. I can be given insane amounts and not get any pain relieve. All I do is want to itch my face off. Any drug with morphine is a no go....my mother was the same way.

    I'm going to make some phone calls to my pharmacy tomorrow I've got a refill coming up this week. Thank you so much for making this post it's great information to have. Sorry you had to learn about it like this. $200+ dollars for meds that's awful, i feel so bad for people who do not have health insurance,yikes!!
  • This sounds terrible. I guess I'll count myself terribly lucky that the ms-contin isn't a terrible choice for me.

    It is really so unfair that a company can do this to people for whom there are so few choices :(
  • If your pharmacy knows you'll be on these long term, they should be able to order the generic for you. This is what my pharmacy does for me. In addition they also get me the tablet rather than the capsule per my request. Technically you should be getting this drug from one source, so they shouldn't have a problem doing this for you.

    Just a thought.

  • that there is a capsule for oxycontin? My copay for oxycontin this past month was $35. I had to jump thru so many hoops though. My insurance company asked for my doctor to write a medically necessity form to see if i "really" need it!! I think that is so bizarre...why would my doctor write me the script if it were not necessary? They needed all my diagnoses. So, I had to wait about 10 days to get my Rx filled...thank God I had ms contin to take (I'm switching back from ms contin to oxycontin). But they refused to fill my meds until my doctor wrote them a letter. I am so thankful for my doctor...he's wonderful. He may even go to my hearing for SSD next week. I have no idea what I'll have to pay for this service thoughl..but I'm sure it would help my case for him to show up.

    anyway, sorry for rambling on and on....

    I guess I'll see what happens when I go to refill my oxycontin in a couple weeks. All these meds that are brand name are soooo expensive!
  • My bad. I should have stated that I was referring to oxycodone in reference to the capsules. My point was to talk to the pharmacy to see if they can work things out.

  • Hi all,

    First, Oxycontin does not come in a capsule form, as far as I know, so I'm glad Dave clarified this.

    I will be following up on the insurance company with my doctor, but I doubt it will do any good because my insurance isn't very good. It will cost me $450 per month or I'll need to switch meds. I have no idea what I'll switch to though.

    I'll clarify more: According to my pharmacist, the makers of the brand name version of Oxycontin won a lawsuit that stops the makers of the generic version of this med from making it or selling it ever again! The existing supplies of it in the pipeline can be sold, but they are drying up all over the USA.

    The Oxycontin makers own the patent on the original formula to make it, and the maker of the generic version do not. Somehow they convinced the judge or whoever, that the generic maker could no longer make it and sell it. They won. :-( Therefore, according to my pharmacist: there will NEVER again be the generic form of Oxycontin for sale.

    Sadly, I and all the others who depend on the more affordable generic form are stuck buying the brand name version or changing meds.

    Thanks for your input. If anyone learns anything else about this topic, please post it. I'll do the same.
  • I hope your Dr. could consider another medication covered under your plan like maybe Fentanyl or another med may work for you. I took MS Contin for 2 years and switched to Oxycontin I was on 120 MS Contin and equivalent to Oxycontin 80 mg. I'm in Canada and Purdue has exclusive rights and my Insurance covers it under Manulife. I hope they can work things out for you and maybe try other pharmacies to see if they have any generic available. Good luck. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi Charry,
    When you say you were on 120 MS Contin and are now on Oxycontin 80mg which is an equivilent, how well did the MS Contin work compared to the Oxycontin?

    Also, have you tried the Fentanyl patch, and how does it compare to these two above for you? I guess I've always thought Fentanyl was for really, really bad pain. I probably should ask my doctor about it.

    My pharmacist is a gem. She called the other ones in the area for me. We live in a rural area and there aren't too many other pharmacys to pick from. All she could find were the 40mg ones which she also has a few hundred of, but no 20mg. Even if I switched to 2 40mg per day instead of 4 20 mg per day, it's still going away soon.

    Thanks, Dee
  • Howdy! Maybe I missed it somewhere here... But have they stated *why* the generic is going away? I had a problem with generic Toprol (a Beta blocker), and as such can only take name brand. The FDA took the generic off the distribute list / market for like 6 months for "some reason" as my pharmacist put it! It (the generic is back now), but I still won't take it - ended up in the ER thinking I was having a heart attack!

    I so much hope they find SOMETHING to replace this so you can have some relief!!! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi Brenda,

    The makers of the generic version of Oxycontin lost their appeal to be able to keep making and selling their version of Oxycontin. It will no longer be made. When the supplies in the pipe line are sold, there will be no more generic of this med - ever. :-(

    I wish it were temporary.

    I'll be out of town for 4 days and when I'm back, I'll see what is new and post an update.

  • Well, maybe after enough people complain or a law suit is filed, it will be back. Unfortunately, those wheels grind slow, so that will be of no 'near time' help. *HUG* Enjoy your trip!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Also, there is a new formula of Oxycontin. The new formula is made by Purdue. They reformulated it to be more difficult to abuse. The new pill is stamped "OP" on one side and "80" on the other. I suppose that this may give Purdue a new patent, but I don't know for sure.

  • have you tried Dilaudid? I think it is the formula name for the Hydromorphone. I tried Oxy and didnt tolerate brand name well (alergic to a buffer in it), so my dr switched me to this. It is available in generic and was the step before the patch when i was there. I think my co-pay for this was 10 dollars and i had a 35 dollar co-pay for the brand name stuff.

    also you might ask for the mix to be different, like the ibprofen version of oxy. my medicine book say that these drugs are all oxycodone hydrochloride:


    and ibuprofen+ oxycodone is Combunox

    And under some research, the same thing happened 2 years ago?!?
  • I too, went round and round as to what I was going to do. I did not understand why my insurance company would cover the BRAND name and not cover the generic for Oxycontin 40mg. At that time I knew nothing about any lawsuits. My insurance company said if the Dr. writes BRAND NAME Medically Necessary they had to cover it and they do! However, being disabled and now on medicare after the 24 month waiting period (a whole different issue that boggles my mind) I will soon be in the donut hole. At $450.00 per month for the 1 medication Oxycontin 40 mgs. I will have to end up paying for them myself until I get to the catastrophic phase of medicare. I don't know if any of you are on SSDI and Medicare Part D but it's crazy. I have tried many type of pain meds and went through alot of bad side effects. It took a long time to finally find something that at least takes the edge off. Here we are in constant pain, many of us totally disabled and on very fixed incomes and the costs of medications are just outrageous. I also pay for an ins. plan with medicare as its almost like you have to have both to avoid going broke. What I don't understand is how the pharmaceutical companies can get away with charging such large fees for their products. Yet in other countries many of the same meds are so much cheaper. Sorry for going in many different directions just venting and I apologize for that.
    I do hope somehow you can get the medication you need to make your daily living a little less painful.
  • I just did some searches on this and I think I figured out what happened. Purdue holds the patent for oxycontin. They had issued licenses to other companies to make a "generic" version. Now these agreements have ended and are not yet renewed.

    So there is still the possibility that they will make another agreement for another manufacturer to make the drug. Doesn't make sense for them to stop now unless there is something else going on. My guess is that they want more money since this drug is so popular.

    If not the one patent expires in 2013 and two more in 2025. There is a site called drugwatch that gives more info on meds and the patents. Once the patent expires any drug manufacturer can make it.
  • From what I've read, I believe (just personal conjecture) this is all happening so that Purdue can launch the new "tamper resistant" version of Oxycontin which is already hitting many pharmacy shelves. If you think about it, it makes sense that you would want to limit production of something that is being replaced. I bet that in the next year or so we see generic versions of the new tamper resistant Oxycontin being made.


  • Haglandc,

    Purdue has already released the new Oxycontin. It is a different formula. This is why I believe that there will be no generics for some time, as I think this renewed their patent.

    I just got the new pills yesterday from the pharmacy. They say "OP" instead of "OC."

    They made them so that they are more difficult to abuse.

    If you Google "new Oxycontin," you will find the news articles pertaining to the above information.

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