Patients can save a lot of money on their medication bills by purchasing these brand-name drug alternatives. Generic medicines make up 80% of pharmaceutical medications, making them a popular and cost-effective alternative to brand-name medications. For prescription and consumption, a generic drug must first receive FDA approval. Generic medicines are available both online and at the local pharmacy.
What are generic drugs?
A generic drug is a medication intended to be identical to a brand-name drug in terms of dosage form, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics, and intended use. These analogies aid in demonstrating bioequivalence, which means that a generic medicine functions similarly to a brand-name medicine and provides the same clinical benefit. In other words, a generic medicine can be used in place of a brand-name medication.
What is a brand-name drug?
A brand-name drug can only be manufactured and sold by the company that owns the drug’s patent. Prescription or over-the-counter drugs with brand names may be available.
Difference between generic and brand-name drugs
In the following ways, generic drugs differ from brand-name medicines:
Generic medicines, unlike brand-name drugs, are not protected by patents or exclusive rights. Patients can get a generic version of a brand-name drug prescribed by a doctor for about a third of the price of a brand-name drug.
- Colour, shape, and packaging
Generic medicines differ from brand-name drugs in terms of appearance and packaging, giving them a distinct product identity.
- Use of inactive ingredients
A generic medicine’s inactive ingredients, such as preservatives and flavoring, differ from its brand-name counterpart. FDA approvals, on the other hand, ensure the safety of such ingredients.
- Expiration date
Some generic medicines have a longer shelf life than their brand-name counterparts. Until they expire, drug manufacturers ensure that they are equally effective.
Why do generic drugs look different than brand-name products?
Trademark laws in the United States prohibit generic drugs from resembling an existing drug. As a result, a generic pill’s color and shape may differ from that of a brand-name pill. It may have a different coating or flavor on occasion. The FDA also takes these inert ingredients into account. Differences in taste or appearance have no bearing on the drug’s safety or effectiveness.
Why are generics cheaper?
In the United States, some brand-name manufacturers charge customers higher prices than in other countries where drug prices are regulated. Drug research is expensive, and brand-name manufacturers have at least 20 years to recoup those costs, which generic manufacturers do not have. Manufacturers of brand-name drugs spend billions of dollars marketing new drugs to doctors and the general public. Generic drug makers rarely invest in advertising and marketing, which is another way they keep costs low.
How genuine are generic drugs?
Only after a generic medicine has met all FDA requirements is it marketed and sold. It will be as safe and effective as the brand-name drug it will be replacing. To ensure suitability, it meets the following criteria.
- Specified testing standards
- Ingredients used as active ingredients
- Usage type
- The extent to which a substance is effective and absorbed in the body
- Indications for use and strength
- Approved inactive ingredients
- Storage container suitability
Generic medicines account for 90% of prescriptions written in the United States, but only 22% of total drug costs. The FDA rigorously tests the thousands of generics today to ensure they are the same medicine with the same active ingredient, strength, and dosage as their brand-name counterpart. Generic medications intended to work in the same way as brand-name medications. They contain the same active ingredient as brand-name medications and are the same price.