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When you hear “generic” drugs, your mind automatically pulls up mental shields and makes a connection with those generic cereals that get soggy and taste funny. However, generic drugs are completely different. According to Web.com Reviews, generic drugs aren’t just safe, but may even be the better choice than their name-brand counterparts in some cases. To understand more about generic drugs, we need to dive a bit deeper.
- Are they the same as name brand drugs? – To understand this question, you need to understand the approval process of the FDA for these drugs. For a stamp from the FDA, the generic medication needs to be “bioequivalent” to their name-brand cousins. That means they need to be the same chemically. However, the replacement of original ingredients is allowed up to 20 percent.
In reality, though, it is observed that the variation in original is much less, around 4 percent. Moreover, there is a large number of studies that have been conducted to compare the effectiveness of generic drugs against name-brand drugs and there is evidence to show that most generic drugs do a job as good as their name-brand formulations.
- Who do the name-brand drugs cost more than their generic alternatives? – There are two major reasons for the significant price gap between generic and name-brand drugs.
The first reason may be clinical trials. That means name-brand medications are required to conduct clinical trials to get their drugs approved. On the other hand, generic brands don’t need to conduct those tests since their drugs are chemically equivalent and hence are assumed to work the same way as their expensive name-brand versions. That testing cost gets passed on to the consumers by name-brand manufacturers.
The other reason is that while a name-brand drug has a single manufacturer, the same generic drugs are made by many companies. This creates a stiff competition at the generic drug marketplace and keeps costs low for consumers.
- What’s the scale of the price gap? – Generic drugs can save you a lot on your medical budget since they cost around one-fifth the price of their name-brand counterparts. A study conducted by IMS Health Institute also shows that the US healthcare system saved around $1.67 trillion between 2007 and 2016 due to generic drugs.
- Can they be differentiated? – You don’t need to stress yourself out about identifying between the drugs since trademark laws protect the companies and provide valuable information to you, the consumer. Generic and name-brand drugs must look different due to trademark laws and that may show itself in the form of a different shape, color, flavorings, or packaging. These differences exist so that you can tell the drugs apart and don’t mean that generics are any less effective or unsafe compared to their name-brand counterparts.
Web.com Reviews believes that generic drugs are safe and sometimes the better option due to their cheap cost. However, if the generic alternative isn’t working well for you and leads to symptoms that shouldn’t happen, you should consult with your doctor.