Generic Medications – Facts You Should Know

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Generic MedicationsIf recently your doctor has prescribed you any medicines such as Careprost or Hydroquinone 4 cream, you are most likely to buy generic drugs. Nearly 80% of prescription medications sold are generics. This is a very good alternative because it helps patients and hospitals save billions of dollars each year.

It’s believed that you could save almost two-thirds of your medication cost if you buy generic medicines, especially generic medicine online.

As per the FDA, generic medications can be relied upon to have the same quality as branded medications yet at lower price. This is important because nobody wants to cut costs on health, even though it may save money.

How are Generics Similar to Branded Medications?

The FDA makes it obligatory for a generic medication to meet certain standards that make sure it’s the same product as that in the branded medication. If a generic drug is to be approved by the FDA, it should be the same as a branded product in:

  • Active ingredient
  • Use and effect
  • Strength
  • Way to administer (e.g. liquid, peel or inhaler etc.)
  • Testing standards
  • Ability to attain the needed concentration in the bloodstream at the correct time and to the same level

This means that the FDA-approved generic medication is safe and can be taken:

  • In a same way as the branded medication
  • For the same reason as that of a branded medication

How are Generics Different than Branded Medications?

FDA allows generic drugs to have some differences than branded drugs. With these, the look of the drugs may change. However it doesn’t change its safety or efficacy. Generic drugs may be different in:

  • Color
  • Shape
  • Packaging
  • Labeling

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The inactive ingredients in the generic drugs may also be different than that in branded drugs. E.g. they may be different in:

  • Flavor
  • Preservatives

Inactive drugs should also be approved to be safe by the FDA.

The expiration date of generic drugs may also be different than that of branded drugs; however, their efficacy is maintained until the expiration date just like that in branded medications.

Why are Generics Cheaper?

A manufacturer’s costs for the invention of a new medication include money for:

  • Research
  • Testing
  • Advertising, promotion and marketing

To recover these costs, the FDA gives patent protection to the branded drugs when they are sold first. With the patent, the drug-maker gets exclusive rights to manufacture and sell the medication for a limited time. When this time ends, other companies can produce the medication and sell a generic version. These drugs are cheaper because their makers don’t have to spend on research, testing and advertising, as that has been already done by the patent-holder company.

The best way to ensure about the safety and efficacy of generic drugs is to consult your doctor and get his approval. With this, you can save a big money on medications without having to risk your health.

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