When medicine is discovered, the manufacturing company applies for patency to prevent other pharmaceutical companies from producing or selling the same medication. The patency may take about 20 years, and during that period, the company produces and sell the drug under the brand name to make a profit and recover the investment. With time, the Brand-name drugs become synonyms with the drug.
But, when the patent expires, other pharmaceutical companies are allowed to produce the same medicine. This is what gave rise to generic and Brand name drugs. For example, Alprazolam is a generic drug for anxiety, but its brand name is Xanax.
Most Americans are unhappy with the rise in drugs costs. A survey of 2016 states that people of the USA spend about $450 billion on prescription medicines, and it will increase by $610 billion in 2021. Even about 90% of prescriptions recommended in the USA are for generic drugs and about 74% for Brand name drugs. Generic medicines save billions for Americans every year. It saved about $253 billion for American consumers.
Generic drugs are chemical copies of the original brand with the same ingredients. It is available at a lower cost than Brand-name drugs. In fact, generic medicines cost 85% less than Brand-name drugs on average.
Food and drugs administrator gives exclusivity and patent protection to the brand manufacturers to allow them to earn profit from their discovery for many years. During this period, no other pharmaceutical company could compete with the brand. Once the patent is expired, generic drugs can enter the market through a shortened FDA approval. It needs to meet the same safety, quality, and effectiveness standards as brands.
The FDA requires drug manufacturers to list the medicine’s active ingredients and inactive ingredients on its label. While drugs can have different brand names, the generic name describes the active ingredients, and this way, you can identify the generic medicine. The similar active ingredients will have other Brand-name drugs in different countries.
Law also demands that all active ingredients must have the same quality and active ingredients. Generic drugs work efficiently as Brand-name drugs and cost less for the same quality.
Before you buy drugs, make sure you check the salt composition of the medicines when making the switch to a new drug. Consult your doctor before consuming the wrong medicine if you face any confusion.
Yes, generic medicines are safe to take as they meet the same quality standards for approval by the law as Brand-name drugs. They have to prove that generic drugs are bioequivalent to the brand version. It means the generic medicines work the same way and provide the same benefits.
FDA monitors drug safety. They inspect over 3000 drugs manufacturer around the globe every year. It also monitors the generic medication’s safety after approval of the drug. If they discover any fault with the quality or safety, a recall is issued for the affected drugs to keep the public safe. For instance, if any medication is causing severe side effects or adverse reactions, FDA acts and investigates when needed.
You must have heard about the several blood pressure drugs being recalled and the heartburn drug Zantac. These drugs had small amounts of cancer-causing impurities. FDA issues recall on these drugs to remove them from the market. They also increased the safety check to prevent contamination issues in the future. If you ever face any problems with the medicines, you can report them to FDA.
Generic medicines go through strict testing for strength, quality, potency, and purity to show effectiveness before the approval by FDA. They must contain the same ingredients and provide the same efficacy.
|Generic Drugs||Brand Drugs|
|Dextroamphetamine-amphetamine ER||Adderall XR|
|Tramadol hydrochloride/acetaminophen tab||Ultracet|
Price is the main reason a generic drug is a better choice. These are a lot less expensive drugs than their brand names. Recent data indicated that the use of less expensive generics improves health outcomes, and one reason is that people taking these drugs are more likely to take their prescribed medications.
The rising cost of drugs is the biggest concern for many people today. A recent survey of Kaiser Family Foundation found that about 79 percent of people surveyed said the medications process was unreasonable. If you do not have any health insurance, the cost may be a big reason generic drugs could be a better choice.
In many cases, you may be recommended to take Brand name drugs if there is no generic available. You may also be advised to stay with the brand if you do not respond to the generic, your symptoms get worse, or you are allergic or experience any side effects from the active ingredients of the generic drug.
Sometimes experts do not prefer to switch the drugs with a narrow therapeutic index or safe range. It means there is a smaller path between the benefits and harmful effects of the medications.
Your health care professional will do routine blood tests to ensure that you are on a safe path. For example, blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin), heart medication (digoxin), thyroid drugs such as Levothyroxine (Synthroid), or drugs for seizures and epilepsy.
It is a personal choice between you and the expert. But, make sure to consult with the expert about your option.
Brand name drugs are the new discoveries developed through clinical trials and researchers. Contemporary medicine has to go through many years of testing on animals and humans to prove they are safe and effective before they are ready to use.
This process takes lots of money, so the manufacturer companies get patent protection from the competition for many years. Till then, they can set any price for their medicine to gain profit from their new invention.
Only when the patent expires several other generic companies can enter the market, and the price goes down. It reduces less than 20 percent of the brand price through the competition.
When choosing which drug to take, you have to consider many factors. Ultimately, it is upon you and your doctor to choose the best option among the generic drug and brand drugs available.
The pharmaceutical company has to submit an ANDA stating that the generic drug meets each and every requirement and standard of the FDA before they approve it. It includes showing the generic medicines is pharmaceutically equivalent to the brand medication.
So, people can feel that the generic drug has the same quality as the Brand name drugs.
Researchers found three main categories from a person’s attitude towards the intention to purchase generic drugs. It includes:
Some researchers state that if a pharmaceutical company, public health policymakers, and doctors better understand the consumer’s need attitudes and behaviors towards generic medicine., they can expand the usage of generic drugs.
The research was conducted in 2017 on the economic evaluation of Brand name drugs prices. It focuses on the top 49 selling drugs with more than 100000 pharmacy claims every year. Of these 49 Brand name drugs, 48 showed regular annual cost increases.
Generic medicines cost less than their brand value equivalents. For many people, this cost difference is the deciding factor if they can take a much-needed drug.
They also investigate the reports of adverse patient side effects or other reactions. This investigation may result in changes in how the product is manufactured and used. They will make recommendations to the health care professional and the public if the need arises.
Patent medicine is a product that a pharmaceutical company initially develops. To sell their medicines, they have to gain approval from the FDA by submitting a new drug application. The manufacturer company offers the data to establish the drug’s clinical safety and efficacy in this application.
The difference between a patent drug and a generic drug is designed to be transparent. Once the patent expires on the brand drug, it is eligible to be made into a generic drug. For this process, the generic drug manufacturer must ensure that the drug they produce contains the same active ingredients as the brand drug, in the exact dosage or concentration. The drug may differ in shape, color, taste, preservatives, and inactive ingredients. Due to these differences, the manufacturers must submit additional paperwork to the FDA to prove that their drugs are manufactured with good manufacturing practices.