Rebranding update and heads-up about metformin

by Caleb Reading

There’s a “new” drug out called Treximet, which is actually just Imitrex with naproxen (Aleve) added to it. Why would somebody add an over-the-counter NSAID to a migraine medication that you take because NSAIDs didn’t work for your headaches in the first place?

If you answered, “because Imitrex will be available as a generic in 8 months, but Treximet won’t be generic for several years” congratulations, you are correct. You are also probably as ticked off about this country’s health care system as I am.

If you’re on Imitrex, please do not switch to Treximet. Even if your copay is going to remain the same (which is very unlikely when Imitrex goes generic), the cash price will be much higher. Which means pharmacy techs like me who actually fetch the pills for you get to look at that overpriced, unethically-rebranded box of Treximet and think: Oh, look, here’s another reason I can’t afford good coverage in the very same health care system I work in.

Please don’t buy rebrands, people. I’m begging you as someone who can’t afford good coverage, who is working in a community with a lot of working poor people who also can’t afford good coverage, and can’t get medicaid because they make five dollars too many at an honest job and/or because they’re reproductively responsible.

One more note, for Metformin patients: the earthquake in China destroyed some of the raw materials. We’ve been stockpiling the drug to hopefully get us through the shortage, but you may want to pad your emergency fund with a little extra cash. You may need to switch to a more expensive therapy for a few months, depending on how bad the shortage gets.