5 Reasons Why Generic Drugs Are Just as Good as Branded Ones | Southstar Drug
When you buy medicine online, one of the choices you have to make is whether to buy generic or branded. For many people, this is an easy choice because they usually gravitate to buying popular brand-name products. These drugs often get a good rep not only because of their name, but also because they’re the first versions of their kind on the market. These factors make them more recognizable to consumers.
Nevertheless, generic drugs come with a few drawbacks like a higher price. Since branded medicines were the first in the market, the cost of development is much higher. The pharmaceutical companies that develop these new drugs will also have to file a patent that prohibits other manufacturers from producing and selling their medications. Once the patent or exclusivity rights have expired, only then can other pharmaceutical companies create and distribute generic versions of these medicines.
Even though generic versions of medicines are widely available, there are a lot of people who are still skeptical about their quality. However, just because something is labeled as generic doesn’t mean that it’s not as good as its branded counterpart. Let’s take a look at five reasons why generic drugs shouldn’t be disregarded when you’re purchasing medicine.
They’re as Effective as the Branded Ones
It was mentioned earlier that pharmaceutical companies can only make generic drugs once the patent or exclusivity rights of brand-name medicines have expired. This means that once the expiration is up, any licensed manufacturer can use the same active ingredients in the patent to create their own product. The formula is exactly the same as the one used by the pharmaceutical company that developed the branded drug; this means that generic medicines work the same way.
The following factors of generic medicines and brand-name drugs are identical:
- Suggested dosage
- Intended use
- Side effects
They’re Approved by the FDA
Before generic medicines are sold in pharmacies, they need to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first. The FDA has a lot of regulatory responsibilities, which include ensuring the safety of medicines and medical products. To ensure that generic drugs perform the same way as brand-name ones, they must undergo the FDA Generic Drugs Program. Here, the FDA will conduct a rigorous review of every generic medicine to ensure that they meet the highest standards. They also inspect the manufacturing plants and monitor drug safety before they allow generic drugs to be sold. With the FDA keeping a close eye on every stage of a generic drug’s development, you can rest assured that the generic medicines in your nearest pharmacies are safe and effective.
They’re Widely Available
Because more pharmaceutical manufacturers have access to the formulas and list of ingredients of previously exclusive medicines, more can be produced. Thus, they become more widely available and more people gain access to the medications they need.
They’re Cheaper Than Brand-Name Medicines
Generic drugs don’t require a high initial cost to be developed. As a result, they can be sold for much cheaper than their branded counterparts. In fact, they can cost around 80% to 85% less than brand-name drugs. Thanks to this, you can save more money when purchasing generic medicines.
Things to Remember When Purchasing Generic Medicines
Generic medicines work in exactly the same way as brand-name drugs and are sold at a lower price point. Due to these advantages, you might think that going for generics is the obvious answer when buying medicines. However, there are certain cases where taking generic medication isn’t the right choice. The following are some situations that may require you to purchase branded medicine:
If Your Body Doesn’t React Well to Generic Medications
Although rare, some people respond poorly to generic drugs. It’s possible that their bodies absorb the medication differently because of how the medicines are made. Instead of providing relief, the generic medication may cause discomfort and worsen the consumer’s condition.
If You’re Taking Narrow Therapeutic Index Drugs
Narrow therapeutic index drugs are types of medicines that can cause serious reactions if there is a small difference in the dose or blood concentration of the medication. Suddenly switching to a generic medicine without a doctor’s prescription can cause the consumer to experience more side effects. Medications that are considered narrow therapeutic index drugs include phenytoin, aminoglycosides, and digoxin.
If No Generic Version is Available
Sometimes the generic versions of brand-name medications haven’t been created yet. As a result, your only option is to get the branded one.
Just because they’re known as generic medicines, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective. They’re made with the same active ingredients as their branded counterparts and offer the same results. They’re also a whole lot cheaper. Of course, it’s good to ask your doctor first whether or not taking generic medication is safe for your condition. If your doctor says it’s okay, then by all means choose a generic drug over a branded one.