Generic Drug FAQs: What is a Generic Drug?

By  //  January 16, 2019

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Almost all generic medications have FDA approval. FDA says generic medications have the same quality as brand-name drugs at a lesser cost.

Does the name Paracetamol, Metformin, and Simvastatin ring a bell? They are the most common and most used generic drugs across the world. Almost 80 percent of drugs prescribed by doctors are generic. Why? Because they work as fine as brand drugs and costs very less.

Generic medications act like a genie that cures your disease in one-third of your total drug cost. Almost all generic medications have FDA approval. FDA says generic medications have the same quality as brand-name drugs at a lesser cost.

You can get them from your doctor or a pharmacist. There are many online websites that sell them. For example, the website FairPriceRx sells the high-quality European generic drugs at a low price online.

Do you know some cool facts about generic drugs?

• They are equally safe and work the same as brand-name drugs on people of all ages.

• Many brand-name drug producing companies also produce generic medications.

• According to FDA 8 of in 10 prescriptions filled in the USA, today are for generic drugs.

Now, that we are quite familiar with the generic medication phenomenon, let’s move on to some basic FAQ’s that many people face.

What is a Generic Drug?

The most simplified definition of ‘what does Generic mean in drugs?’ is ‘a term that refers to the chemical composition of the drug and not the name.’ For example, ‘Spironolactone’ is a generic drug where   Spironolactone is the name of the chemical makeup. While the brand name drug that contains the same chemical component goes with the name Aldactone.

So, a generic drug is an FDA approved medications that contain the exact active ingredient as the brand name drug. And it gives the same therapeutic effect.

Are Generic Drugs Safe?

They are always FDA approved and FDA takes many precautions to ensure the quality and safety of a generic drug before and after it is available in the markets. FDA uses a risk-based approach for the quality testing where they work in order to find any vulnerability with quality, safety, and effectiveness of the final product.

FDA also investigates the side-effects of the product on patients and encourages changes in the generic counterparts if necessary. So, the FDA approved the generic drug is a pure and safe product for patients to use.

How effective are Generic Drugs?

Every generic medicine that is a substitute for a brand-name medication has the same active chemical ingredient. So, they have the same effect as brand-name medications on the body. It has the same way of consuming, same dosage, quality, strength, stability, and effectiveness. As they are basically the same medicines, they have the same benefits and risks as the brand medicines.

Generic Vs Brand Drugs?

The only major difference between a generic and brand name drugs is generic medicines are way cheaper and brand name medicines contain the name of the company rather than the name of their chemical composition. In other words, generic and brand name drugs are absolutely the same. The difference is only in the name and the cost.

Why Generic Drugs Comes at a Lower Price than Brand Name Drugs?

Though generic medicines have the same ingredient as the brand name medicines, they become available in the market long time after the launch of original brand name drug.

As the new products are prohibited by patents and gives companies the right to sell the product recover a company’s investment in research and development of the drug.

As the producers of a generic drug don’t have to invest in the R&D resources, their manufacturing cost is less. Besides, due to higher competition in the generic drug marketplace, medicine prices tend to go low.

Why Do Brand Name Drugs Look Different from Generic Drugs?

United States Trademark laws prohibit the generic medicines to look like (of the same color or flavor) the equivalent brand-name medicine.

Does Every Brand-Name Drug have a Substitute Generic Drug?

No, not all brand-name drugs have a substitute. But in order to find the generic substitute for your brand-name medicine, you can get assistance from your doctor or pharmacist. You can also use FDA-approved drugs catalog Drugs@FDA, an online ‘Orange Book’ or First Generics List for the newest drugs.

Should I take Generic Medicine?

Not all brand medicines have generic medicines. But if you want to use a generic drug, you should refer to your doctor or pharmacist. Many times the doctor prefers the brand-name medicines even when a generic substitute is available. You can always ask me for the reason.

Also, there are many health insurance companies that require you to use generic medications. So, you will have to pay for the brand-name drug from your own pocket if you are using one.

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