Are generic drugs safe and real as a brand name?

Are generic drugs safe and real as a brand name?
Published : Feb 04, 2024
Last Updated : Feb 06, 2024

When it comes to generic drugs, they are mainly the copy of brand-name medicines with the same properties, side effects, strengths, dosage forms as well as pharmacological effects.

Whether you have prescription drug coverage or not, the use of the generic drug for your health condition can help in saving your money by 80% to 85% less than brand-name medicine.

What is a brand-name drug?

A brand-name medicine is produced and sold by the company that holds the patent for the drug. Keep one thing in your mind, brand-name medicines might be available by prescription or over-the-counter. 

For instance:

Tenapanor, a medicine used for treating irritable bowel syndrome with constipation is available by prescription only by Ardelyx under the brand name Ibsrela.

Sildenafil Citrate, a medicine used for treating Erectile Dysfunction is sold over the counter by Phizer under the brand name Viagra.

What are generic medicines?

When the patent of a brand-name medicine expires, a generic version of the same drug is produced and then sold. A generic version of a drug must have the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and should also meet similar quality & safety standards.

Along with this, the FDA necessitates that a generic medicine should be the same as brand name medication in:

  • Strength
  • Dosage
  • Safety
  • The way it works
  • The way it is taken
  • The way it should be used
  • The health conditions that it cures or treats

All generic drugs should also be reviewed and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they are prescribed and sold over the counter.

Are generic and brand name drugs effective and the same?

As per the FDA, all medications including generic drugs and brand-name medicine should work effectively and be safe as well. Generic medicines use the same ingredients as their brand name, ensuring the same benefits as well as risks.

It is often noticed that a number of people around the globe are concerned about the quality of generic medicines. To make sure the best quality, effectiveness, and safety, the FDA conducts a review process for all generic medicines.

Along with this, a review of scientific information about the ingredients and performance of generic drugs is also conducted. Moreover, the FDA also needs to ensure that a generic medicine manufacturing plant meets all the high standards same as the plant for a brand-name medicine.

To ensure compliance with this rule, almost 3,500 inspections are conducted every year by the FDA. Almost half of all generic medicines are made by the companies of a brand name.

They make copies of their own medicines or of the brand-name drugs that belong to another company. After this, the medications are sold without the brand name.

Why do generic and brand-name drugs look different?

Keep one thing in your mind, generic medicines are not permitted to look the same exactly as any other medications sold because of some strict trademark laws.

Though generic drugs should comprise the same active ingredient as the brand-name drug but the additional inactive ingredients, color, flavor, and shape might look different.

Does every Brand-name drug also have a generic drug?

Brand name medicines are usually given patent protection for 20 years right from the date on which the application for the patent was filed. This helps in providing protection for the pharmaceutical company that has paid for the development, research, and marketing expenses of the new medication.

The patent does not permit any other company to make as well as sell the medication. But when the patent is expired, other pharmaceutical companies can start making & selling the generic version of the drug once they are approved by the FDA.

Due to the procedure of patent, medicines that have been on the market for less than 20 years do not come with a generic equivalent being sold. Although, the doctors sometimes recommend the same medicine in order to treat the condition whose generic equivalent is not available in the market.

Why are Generic medicines considered less expensive?

You must know that a new drug takes more than 12 years to come into the market. To bring a new medicine to the market, a lot of money is involved. As generic drug companies do not have to develop a drug from scratch, it usually costs less to bring the medicine into the market.

Once a generic medicine is approved, a number of companies start to produce and sell the medications. Such a type of competition helps in lowering the price of drugs.

Along with this, several generic medicines are established well because the frequently used drugs do not require the costs of advertising. It is important to understand that generic medicine costs almost 30-95% less when compared to brand-name drugs depending upon the competition of generic drugs.

Growing demand for generic medicines in the market

With time, the demand for generic pharmaceutical medicines has increased and will continue to rise in the market in the future. Older patients who suffer from chronic diseases are often dependent on generic medications for healing.

This is one of the reasons why the demand for these generic online medications continues to increase.

Benefits of Generic drugs

For some patients, the high cost of prescription medicines often makes it difficult for them to comply with the doctor’s direction. As a result, they opt. for using generic drugs as they are easy to afford and also treat the condition effectively.

Some of the benefits of generic drugs include:

  • A generic medicine is as effective as their brand name
  • Patients who have serious money challenges can easily afford generic medications because their cost is almost 85% less than brand-name
  • The generic drug also helps in keeping the cost down of the healthcare system
  • It is easy to find generic medicines at any online and offline pharmacy
  • With generic drugs, it is easy to complete the course of treatment

Therefore, after reading this article, you must have got an idea about generic drugs and brand-name medicine.