Health and Fitness Tips – Buying Generic Drugs over Prescription - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Health and Fitness Tips – Buying Generic Drugs over Prescription

If you have got a prescription filled by your physician, there is a good chance that it may be a generic drug he or she prescribed. Almost 80% of the prescribed drugs are in generic format. This approach is in favor or the patients who can save about half of the cost of drugs by going for generic drugs.

According to FDA (Food and Drug Administration), generic drugs may also have the same content and quality as of the branded drugs. However, this comes much cheaper than the former. Even if generic or brand, FDA needs a drug to meet all the standards and pass the clinical trial to reach to the pharmacies. This means generic drugs which are on the shelves of the pharmacies are safe to be taken.

Generic over brand-name drugs

FDA approves a drug product based below parameters:

  • Active ingredients of the compound drug
  • Use and effect of the drug
  • Mode of consumption as pill, liquid, or inhaler
  • Ability to get into the bloodstream at the required level at the right time to the desired extent.

However, there are some differences which may exist between generics and brand drugs. The look of the drug may be sometimes different in terms of shape, color, labeling, and packing, etc. Generic drugs also have some inactive ingredients than the branded ones. They may have different preservatives and flavoring too. However, consultants at say that the inactive ingredients of the released generic drugs are also certified as safe by FDA.

Generic drugs are cheaper

Do you wonder how generic drugs are sold at a much lower price compared to the brand? The difference in the cost is primarily based on the efforts drug manufacturers are taking to bring these on to the pharmacy shelf. In case of brand name, even though the cost of making a unit of the drug is low, the manufacturer’s costs of launching a new medicine is hugely based on the need for research, large-scale, long-term testing of the drug, marketing, advertising, and promotions, etc.

FDA; however, is trying to balance the right of the brand-name drugs to the manufacturers to recoup their investment, but at the same time protects the rights of the patients too to access low-cost generic medicines if they wish to. To help the drug manufacturers to recover their cost, new brand drugs are given patent when they are sold first. This patent is for 12 years during when the rights to make and sell the drugs are only on the drug maker. Once the patent period is over, anyone can produce the generic version and sell it any cost.

As the generic drug manufacturer costs are low as there is no requirement to invest in research and marketing, the product costs also naturally get lowered. This benefit is further passed on to the pharmacies and ultimately the patients who get the same generic drug with up to three fourth price drop compared to brands. However, to ensure that a generic drug works in the same manner as of the brand, manufacturers need to show that there is no difference in the ingredients and the rate and extent of the drug absorption into the body. This makes consumption of generic drugs safe.


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