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Generic Medicine

What are Generic Drugs?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand drug, and has the same medicinal ingredients. Generic drugs are identical to the brand name drug when it comes to safety, strength, dosage, use, quality and performance.

The only difference between the two is the cost. On average, generic drugs cost almost 60 percent less than their brand-name counterparts.

Are generic drugs safe?

Yes. Whether a manufacturer makes a brand name or a generic drug, the standards and regulations are the same. The ingredients, manufacturing standards and the drug testing standards must meet government guidelines and regulations to ensure that the drug is as safe and effective as its brand-name counterpart.

The FDA estimates that brand name manufacturers are linked to 65 percent of the generic drugs on the market.

Are generic drugs effective?

Yes. Since generic drugs use the same active ingredients and the same standards of quality, strength and purity, they have the same benefits and side-effects as the brand-name drugs.

Do generic drugs take longer to work?

No. It is a myth that generic drugs take longer to work. Since generic drugs have the same ingredients, they work in the same amount of time as their brand-name counterparts.

Why are generic drugs cheaper?

Generic drugs are cheaper because generic manufacturers do not have to invest in the research, development and marketing of the drugs as the developer of the drug. Since the generic manufacturers do not have to incur the same costs, they can sell the drugs at a cheaper price.

Today, almost half of all prescriptions in the USA are supplied with generic drugs.

What's the difference between generic & brand-name drugs?

Both brand-name and generic drug facilities must meet the same standards. Generic manufacturers have the same facilities and are guided by the same regulations as the brand-name companies. In fact, brand-name manufacturers are associated with the production of almost 50 percent of the generic drugs in the market. They make copies of their own as well as other brand-name drugs but sell them without the brand-name.

Are there generic drugs for every brand-name drug?

No. The brand-name manufacturer of the drug has a patent that is an exclusive monopoly over the manufacturing and sale of the drugs for a period of 20 years. A generic version of a drugs can be manufactured only after the patent has expired.

This also explains why not all drugs have generic versions.

Do generic drugs look different than brand-name drugs?

Trademark and copyright laws do not allow a generic drug to look exactly like the brand-name drug. So while a generic drug has exactly the same medicinal ingredient, their colors, flavors, shape and certain other ingredients may be different.

Is it safe to switch to generic drugs?

Yes. Generic drugs offer the same quality and efficacy at a substantially reduced cost, in some cases almost 40 percent less than the brand-name drug. In the current economic climate, it makes a lot of sense to save money on drugs without compromising on the quality of health care of your pet.