Generic Versus Brand Name Medications
Last Edited: April 2nd, 2012

Most of us are attracted to generic medications because they are significantly less expensive than brand name ones. While there are concerns that generic medications are of a lesser quality or produced in unsanitary manufacturing facilities, there is little truth to such allegations. In fact, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all generic drugs be just as safe and effective as their brand-name counterpart. Furthermore, the federal regulatory body estimates that 50 percent of the production of generic drugs is done by brand-name companies.

So why are generic medications so much less money than brand name pharmaceuticals?

The cost-savings are due to the fact that generic medications don't have to endure the marketing and the development of a new drug. These savings are passed on to you, the consumer. In addition, when multiple companies begin to manufacture the same drug, the cost is reduced even further, thanks to the increase in competition.

Are there any differences at all between brand and generic medications? There are actually a few differences, but none of them have to do with the safety, dosage or efficacy of the medication. Changes in tablet color, flavor or the mixture of inactive ingredients are likely the only differences between opting for a well-known named medication and a nameless one. The government requires that all medications, whether generic or brand name, must contain the same active ingredients, thereby ensuring that they will impart the same medicinal effects.

If you have additional questions or concerns about generic versus brand name pharmaceuticals, talk to your primary medical provider.


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