One of the most common questions asked at Aubrey Pharmacy is “what are the differences between generic drugs and name brand drugs”? When given the option of choosing name brand or generic drugs, many people aren’t sure if generic drugs are safe or if they will work as well as the name brand. Actually, the generic drugs are equivalent to the name brand and you can save money if the generic version is available for your specific medication.
What’s the Difference Between Generic and Name Brand?
Each drug that is developed gets a patent on the name version, so when the patent expires, the primary manufacturer no longer has exclusive rights to the name, so other manufacturers can begin selling the drug under a different name. It is extremely expensive to develop, test and manufacture a new drug, so when the opportunity arises to use the same drug only under a different name, manufacturer’s do so whenever possible. The good news is that although generic drugs are lower in cost, they must contain a chemically equivalent version of the original name brand. The generic version must also have the same active ingredients, quality strength, dosage, directions, intended use and performance as the name brand. Generic drugs are also approved by the FDA.
If They’re the Same, Why is Generic Less Expensive?
It generally takes 7 years or longer and millions of dollars for drug manufacturers to develop a new drug. Once the medication has been approved by the FDA and been shown to be effective in its intended use, a patent is issued (usually for 20 years), after it expires, the other drug companies can sell the drug, knowing that it has been shown to be affective for at least 20 years, without they themselves having to spend the time and money developing the drug. The lower price does not mean a less effective drug, it simply means that the current manufacturer did not have to spend the time and money on development; therefore, they can offer it to the public at a reduced cost.
You can use generic drugs with confidence; they are safe and as effective as their name brand counterparts. Although the container and/or the medication itself may have a different design, color or shape, generic versions are safe. If you have any concerns, be sure to talk with your Aubrey Pharmacy pharmacist to find out if your medications are available in the generic form.