A few months back, I watched as many of the dementia patients I work with were transitioned from Namenda (memantine) to Namenda XR. Why? The company that makes Namenda is planning on stopping production. Why? The only logical conclusion I can come to is they must need the money.
The makers of Namenda XR and Namenda will contend that Namenda XR is a superior product. If that’s really true, why stop producing the regular Namenda? It should be obvious to healthcare professionals that Namenda XR is superior and they shouldn’t have anything to worry about, right? Obviously they don’t really believe that as the are trying to transition all patients off of Namenda to the XR formulation as the original Namenda will be going generic within the next year which will obviously be a substantial loss to the company. Is it right? Of course not. Is it legal? We will find out as there are lawsuits in the works.
To put some icing on this poorly tasting cake, there have been production problems with the XR formulation. So now some of those patients that I’ve seen switched to the XR are now having to be switched back to the original formulation they were on just a couple months before. Dementia patients and their caregivers have enough to worry about.
This may surprise you, but I’m all for Big Pharma. We need creativity, we need options to help provide the best possible care. We don’t need stunts. They are still producing the original Namenda at this time as well as the XR so there is still time to do the right thing. But will they?
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