Researchers, led by Shuk-Li Man, analysed prescribing trends for anti-epileptic drugs from 1994 to 2009. The results show that prescribing of newer medicines has steadily increased. Lamotrigine has been the most popular medicine prescribed in pregnancy since 2004. However, the use of carbamazepine and sodium valporate has decreased.
Stories about AEDs
The study has been largely funded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The administration has previously produced guidelines to make sure that the generic version of a drug is virtually identical to its branded counterpart. These guidelines allow a certain margin of difference, within which a generic drug is supposedly just as effective.
Brainwave, the Irish Epilepsy Association, has pressed 40 members of parliament in the Republic of Ireland to exclude epilepsy from the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Bill 2012.
According to recent reports in The Daily Telegraph, the price of Epanutin capsules (phenytoin sodium) has seen a huge increase. It is now 24 times the original price – potentially meaning a sharp rise in the NHS epilepsy drugs bill.