Did you know about 85 percent of drugs used in the U.S. in 2018 were unbranded generics? Since these drugs are widely available at a cheap cost, medical facilities, doctors and patients keep choosing them more often over branded drugs.
Although the cost savings sound appealing, you might have some concerns about differences between generic drugs vs brand name drugs. After all, you want to get a safe medication that successfully treats your condition.
Read on to learn what you need to know about generic vs brand drugs.
Do They Differ in Effectiveness?
Both generic and brand name drugs have no difference in active ingredients. This means that you can expect the same level of effectiveness.
The only difference in the contents lies in the substances used to bind or fill the pill. For example, some generics might use lactose when name brands don’t. However, this won’t make the medication not work as intended.
One exception is that there are some rare cases where generics may not work as well for a specific person after they had used the brand name version. This happens due to how a person’s body might work with the new medication. When this does occur, a doctor might switch the person back to the brand name version.
How Much Do They Differ in Cost?
When you choose a name brand drug, you pay not only for the ingredients in the bill. You also pay a premium for the brand itself and the marketing used as well as any patents. This makes brand name drugs the most expensive choice.
Pharmaceutical wholesale distributors that sell the drugs have no need to advertise or boost the name of the generic drug. This means you can save anywhere between 80 to 85 percent when you choose generic drugs.
Do Generic and Brand Name Drugs Look the Same?
When you compare generic vs trade name drugs, you’ll notice that generic drugs tend to look different. This helps avoid trademark and patent issues that would arise if the pills were identical.
Generic pills may be a different color and come in different packaging than the brand name alternative. They could also differ in size and shape slightly.
Is One Safer Than the Other?
In the end, both generic and brand name drugs go through the same safety checks to make sure they meet quality standards and will work effectively.
The Food and Drug Administration requires that generics come in the same form and strength and have the same uses as brand name drugs. It also has rules for the active and inactive ingredients, drug packaging, and manufacturing process.
Now You Can Compare Generic Drugs vs Brand Name Drugs
In most cases, you’ll find it worth the cash saved to choose generic drugs vs brand name drugs. After all, you’ll get the same level of safety and effectiveness.
However, keep in mind that some newer medications won’t have a generic version. Generic manufacturers have to wait until there’s no longer any exclusivity of the brand name version before they can begin making a generic option. There’s also some more time needed to get the generic approved for use.
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