What is Ocella?

Ocella is actually the generic version of Yasmin, and it is manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, recently acquired by Yasmin manufacturer Bayer which specializes in producing generic versions of brand-name drugs. In the U.S., generic brands are required to be the same in every way to its brand-name counterpart, so it is a myth that generic brands are not as good as brand names.

The reason generic brands such as Ocella are cheaper than name brands is that there is no additional cost in marketing it. Yasmin was extensively marketed when it was first introduced, so that provided the buying impetus for Ocella. This holds true for most generic brands, so when a pharmacy is given a prescription for Yasmin, for example, Ocella is given by default unless the prescription is marked DAW 1 (Dispense as Written) or “patient requests.”

Many women who take Yasmin and then switched to Ocella have mixed feelings about it. Many would accept the substitution mainly because most health insurance companies will not cover a brand name drug if a generic version is available. Those who refuse to switch are either compelled to pay for the product out-of-pocket or have higher deductibles. In the case of Ocella, its formulation is 3 mg drospirenone with .03 ethinyl estradiol, exactly the same as for Yasmin, and the dosage instructions are also the same, down to the 7 inactive pills included in the package.

However, when generic brands are described as the same as the name brand equivalent, it means exactly that. This means that whatever goes for the name brand goes for the generic, including adverse side effects. Yasmin is currently under legal fire for causing injurious harm to its users because it significantly increases the risk of forming blood clots, thus increasing the risks for concomitant medical conditions such as deep vein thrombosis. This also means that any litigation that may apply to Yasmin will also apply to Ocella, so buyers beware.

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