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Generic vs. Brand Name Drugs

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The use of prescription medicine has increased over the years.  Also increasing are the use of generic drugs versus their brand name counterparts.  In fact, nearly 8 in 10 prescriptions filled in the US are for generic drugs.  Many people question the safety of generic drugs, but the FDA concludes that generics provide the same quality and performance as brand name drugs:

  • Generics must have the same active ingredient, strength, dosage form, and route of administration as the brand-name drug
  • Generic manufacturers have to prove that the drug is the bioequivalent as the brand-name drug
  • Generic manufacturers must pass the same quality standards as the brand-name drug manufacturer

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Interesting Fact:  Many generic drugs are made in the same manufacturing plant as the brand-name drug!

Millions of dollars are saved annually when patients convert to generic drugs.  The FDA estimates that generics saved patients $158 billion dollars in just one year.  Paying significantly lower prices for a generic doesn’t sacrifice quality or effectiveness.  When a brand-name drug becomes generic, they no longer need to repeat the costly clinical trials.  Furthermore, they usually do not pay for expensive advertising, marketing and direct promotion to physician offices and hospitals.  Lastly, there is usually more than one manufacturer that is producing the generic drug and the competition further decreases the drug price.

Discuss the use of generic drugs versus brand name drugs with your physician to see if generics are a cost saving option for you.

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Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.

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