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Pat asked...

Daily tamoxifen following breast cancer

Tags: cancer

I'm on daily tamoxifen following breast cancer, and have noted that the make of tablets I get varies, the most common being Wockhard and Chelonia Healthcare /Genesis Pharmaceuticals. I've not noticed any difference in their effect, but the Wockhard are very much more convenient, being coated (and easy to swallow without breaking up and leaving a very bitter taste) and having a blister pack from which they are easily extracted with a fingernail (whereas I have to use a sharp object to get into the Genesis blisterpack - a minor point but an irritation). My GP says she is not able to specify a make. I have tried asking the chemist (Sainsburys) and in the past they have obtained the Wockhard ones for me, but last time they told me their supplier now only stocked Genesis. Is there anything I can do about this?

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The answer

Hello Pat,

We're sorry to hear that you are having difficulties obtaining your preferred brand of Tamoxifen tablets.

We have contacted Wockhardt UK Limited regarding your enquiry.

They informed me that they will be able to organize a supply to your dispensing pharmacy. They will organize payments via the wholesaler used by your pharmacy. You will need to ask your local pharmacist to contact them on 01978 661 261.

FYI, the contact details for manufacturers can usually be found on the patient information leaflet included in each box of tablets.

What is a generic brand?

The generic name of a medicine is the actual chemical name of the active ingredient of a medicine.

When a medicine is first available to the public it often carries a brand name given by the pharmaceutical company who makes the medicine. After the initial period the pharmaceutical company loses the right to be the sole company to produce that particular medicine. This allows other companies to copy and produce generic brands. The generic brands have to show that they are effective as the original brand.

Although the generic medicines produced by different companies have to contain the same active ingredient they can have different additives. Most people are not affected by different brand of generics but some individuals may not be able to tolerate some generics. And as you have found, some are easier to use than others.

We hope this helps.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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