After visiting a doctor and getting a prescription for a medicine, usually for a specific brand of the drug, you take it to a pharmacist to fulfill. The pharmacist says that there is also a generic version of the prescribed drug if you want to buy it. So, the question, is which one do you buy? The generic may be a better choice in terms of price and quality, but is it safe?
In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between generic and branded drugs to see which one is superior!
Are Generic Drugs as Effective as their Branded Counterparts?
Many people may associate the term “generic” with something that’s of inferior quality. Also, some people assume that generic is just another name for “knock-offs,” which isn’t the case.
You probably don’t know this, but generic drugs are made to work in the same way that their branded counterparts are meant to. The list of active ingredients is the same as their branded counterparts. Generics are also the same as branded drugs in terms of:
- How it is administered
Let’s explain this with a relatively popular example of Adderall, which is an amphetamine salt combo. Adderall is used to mainly treat attention deficit disorder or hyperactivity. Both prescription drugs, i.e., the generic and branded version (Adderall), are prescribed in the exact quantities and need to be taken the same way. The same goes for another popular drug for people with type 2 diabetes called metformin, the generic version of Glucophage.
Are Generic Drugs Inferior to their Branded Counterparts?
The short answer to this is, “No.” Generic, medications happen to be just as effective as their branded counterparts. The FDA requires that drug makers prove that the generic medication they are manufacturing as substitutes for branded drugs is effective and offers the same benefits.
The fact that both generic and branded drugs are equally effective means that they can both be swapped for each other without compromising effectiveness.
Why Branded Drugs Cost More than Generic Drugs?
Now there are quite a few reasons for this, but we’ll go into two of the most important ones below.
Manufacturers of branded medications need to run tests, also referred to as clinical trials, which proves that their drug works and is safe to use by human beings. Running these types of clinical trials is expensive, and some of these costs are obviously passed on to the consumer.
The second reason is that while just one manufacturer sells branded drugs, a generic drug is sold by several companies. So, generic drug makers are competing against a dozen other companies, and competition drives the cost down for consumers.
How Much Can I Save By Buying Generic Drugs?
Typically generical drugs tend to be around 80% cheaper than their branded counterparts. A study found that generic drugs helped the US health system save a whopping $1.67 trillion over the course of 9 years from 2007 to 2016.
How to Tell Generic Drugs Apart from Branded Ones?
If you don’t want to end up with the wrong prescription, then be assured that choosing to go the route of generic drugs isn’t going to mean you end up with the wrong set of drugs. The difference between branded drugs and their generic counterparts isn’t hard to tell.
Thanks to trademark laws, branded name medications and generic medicines can’t look similar. While the name of a generic drug may be the same as the active ingredient, it isn’t going to be the same as a brand name.
Generic drugs have different colors, flavorings, packaging, color, and inactive ingredients. That said, that does not mean that these generic drugs are less effective than branded ones.
Finally – Are Generic Drugs Safe?
Well, there is no reason why generic drugs aren’t going to be safe; after all, they are put through a pretty rigorous review process prior to approval by the FDA. The drugs are tested to ensure that they meet the same effectiveness standards as branded medications. Interestingly, the FDA even tests the container’s sturdiness and how long the unused drug will last before it starts breaking down. That’s why you can be assured that they are safe.
Connect with PhilRx for more information and savings on your prescriptions