Generic Brand Drugs Are Sold For Considerably Less Than Brand Name Prescriptions

When a drug company develops a new medication it invests money in scientific research. Discovery, development and testing over a period of time takes a large investment in time and money. Generic drugs do not incur that expense. The company that does all this has what is called a patent on that drug.

The patent has a time limit placed on it. Patents are effective for different lengths of time in different places. When the patent is expired, the same drug in generic formula can be made by other pharmaceuticals manufacturers.

The generic must contain the active ingredients the original brand name drug has. The FDA requires this. The generic version must be nearly identical to the brand name (the active ingredients must be nearly the same).

The cost of generic drugs is much lower than the brand name for two good reasons. They are copied, which relieves them of the expense of research and clinical trials. Another reason is that more than one company can manufacture a generic version.

This brings sales competition into the picture. Where competition between pharmaceutical producers exists, prices are lowered. Naturally, the buying public will buy a similar, almost identical drug that costs the least amount of money.

Generic drugs can be manufactured cheaper in some countries. India is one example. It is because the workers are paid much less in wages than workers in the United States.

A new law was signed into effect last March 23, 2010. The President gave the FDA the responsibility of approving all generic drugs before they can be marketed. The original producer is given a patent that is good for twelve years. After that time period of exclusive rights, the generic can be marketed to the public. This is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Consumers in the United States buy more generics than people in any other single country. As soon as a patent expires on any brand name pharmaceutical, it can be made as a generic. Those medications have captured 78% of the market currently. This will have a huge impact on the market for all medications sold in the US.

All prescription drugs cost money to ensure safe manufacturing. One component of the cost of pharmaceuticals is the high cost of advertising on TV. It is obvious that the profit margin is higher as a result of those expenditures.

Yes, the cost is high. What the advertising does not point out is that generics are produced by manufacturers in India at a small fraction of what the public pays for them. Our biggest drug companies in the US have factories all over India. Yet they used to attempt scare tactics to convince the public that drugs from overseas might pose a threat to their health.

The fact is that Indian law imposes a death penalty on any drug manufacturer in their country who produces unsafe generic drugs. The same penalty covers any company that deliberately produces any drug that is harmful to the people who take it. This kind of regulation keeps us all safe.

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