Are you unsure of whether you should buy name brand vs. generic medications? What’s the difference between name brand vs. generic, after all? This is a common question, but the differences are actually very straightforward.
When a pharmaceutical company puts a new drug on the market, they sell it under the brand name which they’ve given it. This name brand drug may be quite expensive because the company has to recover the costs it has spent researching, developing, testing, manufacturing, and marketing the drug, and still make a profit. New drugs don’t have generic versions yet.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants the company that developed the drug a patent. This patent gives them exclusive rights to sell the drug for a set period of time. However, when that patent is close to expiring, other pharmaceutical companies can seek permission from the FDA to sell the same drug under different, generic names.
Quality: Name Brand vs. Generic
If you’ve ever passed over a generic drug brand because you thought it might lack quality, that should not be the case. Generic drugs actually contain the same ingredients as their name brand counterparts and adhere to the same strict FDA standards. They are, in essence, copies of the original in every way. This includes the dosage, intended use, side effects, and so on. The only difference is in the name and manufacturer.
Costs: Name Brand vs. Generic
As we already mentioned, one reason generic drugs are less expensive is because the companies that offer them didn’t have to pay all the up-front costs. These costs include things like research and development that the original pharmaceutical company had to pay. But another reason generic drugs cost less is due to basic supply and demand.
When multiple companies market a generic drug and there’s more of it available, the supply goes up. Competition between the different companies to offer the drug at a lower price drives the price down even more.
Does It Matter Which You Choose? Name Brand vs. Generic
For over-the-counter medications and other products, it shouldn’t matter from a quality perspective whether you purchase name brand or generic. Because the quality is the same, you might want to buy the product that is on sale or is offered at the best price, or the one that is available in the quantity or delivery method (tablet vs. capsule, for example) that you prefer.
For prescribed medications, your doctor will indicate on the written prescription whether or not the pharmacist may use a generic drug to fill your prescription. If so, the pharmacist may ask you which you prefer.
A good practice is to check with your health insurance policy to see how much you have to pay out of pocket for a name brand vs. generic medication. In general, generic prescription drugs are typically less expensive — sometimes a lot less expensive. If you will benefit from substantial savings by purchasing a generic prescription drug or just want to save as much money as possible whenever you can, don’t be afraid to speak up the next time your doctor is writing a prescription. Ask whether they will write the prescription allowing for a generic option if one is available.
Live in the center of it all in Waldorf, MD. At Center Pointe, we love providing our residents with helpful information to help them manage their busy lives. Our residents have easy access to shopping, entertainment, and great schools. Reach out to us today to schedule a tour and see why we are a Top Rated apartment community on ApartmentRatings!