Diana Clement

Your Money and careers writer for the NZ Herald

Diana Clement: Go for generic

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Tempted to buy Nurofen? Don't be. Ibuprofen, the exact same active ingredient, costs less than half. It just doesn't have the brand recognition.

People continue to pay over the odds for a brand name when generic alternatives cost a lot less. Countdown's website says a generic Homebrand ibuprofen tablet costs 12c, and a Nurofen one is 33c.

There are lots of alternatives at pharmacies and supermarkets. Expect to pay a LOT less for Razene (instead of Zyrtec), Sebizole (Nizoral), Dr Reddy's Omeprazole (Losec), and Nodia Loperamide (Immodium).

At Unichem, Amcal and Life Pharmacy, 150mg of oral fluconazole costs $31.99 if you want the name Canesten on the packet, or $23.99 if you don't.

Debbie Yardley, of Unichem, Amcal and Life Pharmacy, says some customers insist on a branded product they are familiar with. "Others may not know there is an alternative and are happy to accept it," she says.

Ask your pharmacist if there is an alternative brand for over-the-counter medicines.

Or find out what the drug name is and ask for that. Carl Peterson, of Douglas Pharmaceuticals, says there is no reason to think Nurofen or Nizoral work better than cheaper alternatives.

I'd love pet shops to sell generic alternatives to Frontline flea treatment. It's based on the drug Fipronil and can be bought in the UK for a fraction of what the branded item costs here.

More deals:

* Dr Reddy's Omeprazole 10mg 14 capsules, $18.95, including postage from Netpharmacy.co.nz
* Ethics paracetamol capsules 20-pack, $1.49, at Pak'NSave.
* Nodia Loperamide 2mg tablets 8s, $9.99, at Life Pharmacy and Unichem.

- Herald on Sunday

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