The Secret World Of Generic Equivalent Drugs

Generic drugs are the bioequivalent to popular named brands. The only difference is that the active ingredient of generic drugs does not have an official patent like the brand name counterpart. For instance, Tylenol is a specific brand. The generic version of Tylenol is called acetaminophen. The US Food and Drug Administration, otherwise known as the FDA, says the generic version of a drug must be a bioequivalent to the brand named drug. This means the dosage, safety, strength, quality, and performance must meet that of the brand version.

According to the law, generics have to look different in appearance so consumers are not confused as to what they are buying. This explains the different look of generics, such as a difference in color or size from the brand we are accustomed to. They may in fact taste or smell different due to differences in their inactive ingredient, but the active ingredient is still the same.

Generics come about usually within a time span of 7 to 12 years after the original. U. S. patents are protected for 20 years, but companies put in their applications several years in advance due to clinical trials. This, therefore, reduces the time generics can enter the market. Once they do, their prices are much lower because the major companies have taken on all of the primary costs.

The lower price is a major plus for price conscious consumers, but safety has always been a concern when it comes to taking generic drugs. The FDA has deemed them safe to use as they are equivalent to their innovator. There are always side effects or possible problems with any drug, so consult a doctor before administering.

Since their lower cost is the major reason why users flock to these drugs, they have become higher in demand. Doctors still tend to prescribe brand named drugs because this is the standard they are use to. It is your option and right to ask for a less expensive, generic alternative.

It is interesting to note that many of the huge brand name companies produce their own line of generics. It is a competitive market and they too want their piece of the action. So they will produce generic drugs right alongside their brand named drugs and in this way impact both sides of the market. This is a little known fact that major companies prefer to keep undisclosed.

Alternatively, there are manufacturers that only produce generic prescriptions. More than half of prescription drugs are filled with non brand named items. These drugs are cost beneficial, especially for the uninsured or the elderly who may be restricted to a fixed income.

So there is no true mystery in generic drugs. They are FDA approved and considered as safe as higher priced brand named drugs. As with any medication, there could be complications so always speak to a professional before making any changes in your medications. A safe consumer is a wise consumer.

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