Generic vs. brand drugs
If you have heard the story of Fair Price Rx’s founder, you would know that accessibility is one of the key issues that the pharmaceutical industry has faced which makes it difficult for everyday consumers to get what they need to treat their ailments. And so, through their service and many others like it, they are able to offer a wide variety of drugs with high quality and for affordable prices. Let us try and explore more about generic drugs.
What Does Generic Mean in Drugs?
When we hear the word “generic”, it would refer to the quality of being common which you can find anywhere. Or if you take the origins of the word which is the Latin generalis, we see that it describes the quality of spanning a whole range or class of an item or concept. Putting this term in the context of drugs, then a “generic drug” would be a whole category of drugs that perform the same type of
Facts about Generic Drugs
Generic drugs are simply a type of drug that has a similar composition, dosage, purpose, strength, and other details as a branded drug. Nothing has changed except for the name of the drug.
So the question is, why do both generic drugs and branded drugs coexist in the market? And the answer is quite simple really. Generic drugs cannot exist in the market without having branded drugs being sold first. The reason for this is the legal aspects of selling and marketing these drugs, specifically patents.
When a pharmaceutical company rolls out a new drug for a certain illness, they would have to apply a patent for this drug. When they receive the patent, they will be the sole vendor of that drug. No other companies can sell a drug with the same composition, dosage, or intended use.
However, once the patent expires, companies will be able to use the information about the drug and manufacture their own. So, in essence, generic and branded drugs have no difference at all, whether it be in their effectiveness or safety. Price is the only factor that changes.
How Effective Are Generic Drugs?
If we think about it logically, a drug that has the same components, dosage, and intended purpose should not be any different in terms of effectiveness compared to branded ones. And in fact, since these drugs are copies having the exact description, they would be just as effective.
If pharmaceutical companies would change the composition of a drug, then it would become a totally different one than what they have advertised which will have ethical problems. So, there are no doubts as to the effectiveness of generic drugs. But people still have concerns due to their significantly lower price and so the perception of consumers would tend to skew toward being skeptical about them.
Are Generic Drugs Safe?
Generic drugs have the same amount and degree of risk and side effects as branded ones. As long as one would stick to the recommended dosage or prescription of the doctor, there should be no fear about having any complications as a result of taking the drug.
Unless of course the patient did not disclose any important information about their medical history in terms of allergies to certain types of drugs. In any case, generic drugs are safe to use and the risks are within the acceptable range as well.
When you read what is written on the box or the blister pack, you may find the chemical components of the drug. Usually, that would be the generic name of the drug. For example, a paracetamol is a medicine used as a pain reliever and fever treatment.
There are various brands for paracetamol such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. But when you ask the pharmacist to give you a paracetamol, they know what type of drug that is and what to give you. Another example would be an antihistamine like loratadine. One of the brand names for that drug is Claritin.
Generic vs Brand Drugs conclusion
If we take all of these information into account, we arrive at the conclusion that the negative perception or connotation consumers place on generic drugs is misjudged. Since the only basis for the difference between generic and branded drugs is the price and marketing of these products, it has no bearing on whether the drugs are able to carry out the function it was made to do.
So consumers should not fear buying generic drugs especially if their budget is constrained. There is no harm in buying branded drugs either if they can afford it. It all depends on one’s preference and experience. If you want to try out something cheaper then go with generic drugs, and you’ll see that they are the same thing.