Have you ever wondered about generic drugs? Here are the answers to some of the most common questions?
What are generic drugs?
A generic drug is a copy of a brand name drug. The company that first develops the brand name drug patents it for a period of time. Once the patent expires, other companies are allowed to manufacture medications with identical active chemical ingredients.
How are generic drugs different from brand name drugs?
Generic drugs do not look the same as their brand name equivalents. They may have a different color, shape or flavor, but the active ingredients are the same as those in the brand name drug, so the way the medication works in your body is the same. Generic drugs are approved by the FDA, so you can be sure the active ingredients are identical.
Why are generic drugs cheaper?
The company that first develops the brand name drugs has spent many years researching and testing the drug to ensure it is safe, which costs a lot of money. Once the patent expires, the makers of the generic equivalent don’t have to spend money on research; they only have to make an identical medication, so their cost is lower.
Can I switch my prescription from brand name to generic?
Generic drugs are available only with a prescription. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about switching to a generic equivalent.
Is my brand name drug available in a generic version?
Call or come into the pharmacy to find out if your medication is available in a generic form. The FDA website also lists all companies that make both brand name and generic drugs.