Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Generic vs Brand Name Medications

Though they are called "generic," these prescription drugs are expected to meet the same standards required of the innovator or brand name product.

What is the difference between a Generic and Brand Name Drug?
A Name-Brand drug is marketed under a specific trade name by a pharmaceutical manufacturer. In most cases, Name-Brand drugs are still under patent protection, meaning the manufacturer is the sole source for the product but in many Countries around the world this is not the case and a generic alternative is readily available . A generic drug is made with the same active ingredients in the same dosage form as a brand name drug. The generic drug is therapeutically equivalent to the brand name drug but is sold under its chemical or "generic" name.

Are Generic Drugs as Effective as Name-Brand Drugs?
A generic drug contains the same active ingredients in the same dosage form as a brand name drug. The strength and purity of generic medications are strictly regulated. The FDA requires all generic manufacturers to demonstrate that a generic drug will have the same medical effect as its Name-Brand equivalent by measuring the rate and extent of drug absorption. The generic drug should treat your illness or condition with the same effectiveness and safety as its brand name equivalent. Generics have to meet the same rigorous requirements as Name-Brand drugs.

Are Generic Drugs as Safe as Name-Brand Drugs?
These generics have been used billions of times by millions of patients, demonstrating again that Name-Brand and generic name drug have the same effect in the body.

Are Generic Drugs Less Expensive than Name-Brand Drugs?
In most cases, YES. The cost of researching, developing and marketing a new drug- including the money spent advertising the product- are factored into the price of the branded drug. Generic manufacturers spend considerably less on development and promotion, and therefore can afford to sell their product for less money.

Is the More Expensive Name-Brand Drug of a Better Quality?
No, the quality is the same. Both have to meet the same rigorous requirements.

Who Makes Generic Drugs?
Some are manufactured by the same pharmaceutical companies that make brand drugs - such as Novartis, Cipla Abbot, Aventis, Bayer, Cipla, Dr. Reddy's, Merck, Eli Lily, GlaxoSmithKline and Ranbaxy; others are produced by pharmaceutical companies specializing in the manufacturing of generics. All prescription drug manufacturers must meet rigid FDA, WHO and GMP approval.