When you go to the drugstore for medicine, you find several drug options to choose from that offer the symptom relief. But hen you look at the drugs you realize that there are some drugs that are name brand and cost more money, and right beside them sit the generic drugs that have the same ingredients as the brand name drugs, but cost a little bit less. So, what is the fundamental difference between the brand name drugs and the generic drugs? Does one work better than the other? Are name brand drugs FDA approved whereas generic medicines aren't? Do FDA generic drugs contain same active ingredients as brand-name drugs? Let's start with the basics.
What Are Generic Drugs?
Truth is, generic brands are slightly different than brand-name drugs, but work the same and are more cost-effective. Generic brands have the same active ingredients as their name brand counterparts, and their standards of manufacturing and packaging must be the same as name brand products. The main difference between generic brands and the name brand drugs with the same active ingredients and treat the same ailments, are the cost differences.
Unlike companies who have big names to live up too and can raise the prices of their drugs and still have people paying for them, manufacturers who make generic medicines can compete with their prices and result in more consumers buying them. When consumers look at generic medications and realize that FDA generic drugs have the same active ingredients and high quality standards, and are sold at a fraction cost of name brand medications, they are more apt to buy the generic medicines. Over the last ten years, generic medications have saved American consumers over $1.67 trillion dollars. The cost-effectiveness and potency of generic medications have made them a big competition for name brand drugs.
Process For Generic Drug Approval
The U.S FDA requires that generic drugs have the same high performance and well-made quality as the name brand drugs that do the same thing. When a generic drug is approved by the FDA, it means they have stood up too and passed high standards they set to ensure their correct identity, strength, quality, purity, and potency before they are able to be sold in drug stores. FDA generic drugs come with the same high-quality standards in both manufacturing and packaging. FDA generic drugs give you the same potency and active ingredients and reach the same rigorous, established standards that name brand drugs must pass.
If you decide to go in the generic direction you can be sure that you will be getting a rigorously tested and approved medication that will provide you the same quality and pure medication as any name brand product would give you.
Generic Vs. Name Brand Drugs
The FDA states that to its core, generic and name brand drugs are biologically the same especially when it comes to things like dosage, identity, safety, quality performance, and intended use. Generic drugs are becoming more and more popular in society, but many people wonder how safe generic drugs really are. So what are the differences between generic drugs and name brand drugs?
For starters, generic medications are usually cheaper. Brand name drugs have to be rigorously researched, and their testing requires a lot of time which means a lot of money. Generic medicines only have to copy their brand name counterparts which saves them money and allows them to price their drugs lower. Generic drugs, though they meet the FDA requirements, are sometimes produced in factories in countries like India or China where there is cheap labor and overhead. Though rare, these factories can lead to contamination on the generic brands that would not be found in the name brands. Name brand medications have a specific "look" to them that is branded and sets them apart.
People who use name brands get used to their branded look, so when they get a prescription refilled, or buy over the counter medications that are generic, they can have a difference in appearance which can lead to medication confusion and errors. Doctors have also remained divided on the use of some generic medications. They believe that some generic brands may contain problems which can result in health complications when switching from name brand to generic brand. Though it is a relative minority of doctors who are divided on the use of generic brands, it is a substantial enough number to continue raising questions in the medical community, whereas name brands have a reputation of being well researched and trusted.
In the end, it's always wise to do your own research on anything you take, but you can trust that both generic and name-brand drugs come highly tested and trusted by the FDA.