Changes in Generic Medication’s Color, Shape May Lead to Some Patients Failing to Continue Taking the Medications

The Washington Post reports that research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that changes in a generic medication’s color and shape may “be causing confusion among patients, leading some to stop taking much-needed medications.” The researchers “said the FDA perhaps should require the appearance of new generic drugs to match that of the original brand-name products. The effects, they wrote, are not just aesthetic but also ‘clinically relevant.’”

The Boston Globe reports that over “a two-refill period, the pill shape or color changed for 29 percent of patients.” The appearance “of statins changed most often among users while beta-blockers had the fewest changes.”

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports that “compared with those who continued to take their heart medications, those who lapsed were 30% more likely to have experienced a change in their medication’s shape or color.” The study indicated that “more than color changes, a reconfiguration of a pill’s shape raised the likelihood of a patient failing to adhere to his or her medication regimen.” MedPage Today and HealthDay, also cover the story.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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