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IJMDC. 2019; 3(9): 751-754

The impact of changing branded statins into generic drugs at the National Guard Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Abdulaziz Dahham Alshalan, Faris Awadh Alotaibi, Mohammed Fawzan Almuhraj, Mohammed Aldegiri, Hind Almodaimegh.


Health care expenditure remains one of the major issues to tackle for all countries around the globe. To overcome this, some hospitals involve in the process of changing medications from the brand named drugs to their generic counterparts. However, the question that remains among the physicians and the patient group is whether these generic drugs could compromise the effectiveness and safety. Thus the objective of the present study is to explore the impact of changing statins from their brand to generic counterparts on the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in patients with hyperlipidemia.
A retrospective chart review was conducted at King Abdulaziz Cardiac Centre, National Guard Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during the period of January 2018 to May 2018. A total of 876 patients were made to switch from brand to generic statin. The lipid profile (total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, High-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, triglycerides) analyzed during the year 2016 (the drug switching period) was compared with the lipid profile results recorded in 2017. Other labs tests were also investigated to check for variations.
A total of 500 patients were analyzed during the study. Significance difference was found on comparison of the mean values for: LDL (2.5 mmol/l vs 2.2 mmol/l; p = 0.000), HDL (1.0 mmol/l vs 0.90 mmol/l; p = 0.006), cholesterol (4.2 mmol/l vs 3.8 mmol/l; p = 0.000), and triglycerides (1.7 mmol/l vs 2.0 mmol/l; p = 0.425).
The patients who switched from brand named drugs to generic named drugs had better outcome according to the lab results. Our findings support the hospital's efforts in switching statin from brand (LipitorĀ®) to generic statin and maintaining the efficacy of the drug.

Key words: Statins, generic drugs, LDL

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