In the last post, we saw how Store or private band products helps to save tons of money instead of buying national brand products. I got lot of enquires about Generic brand drugs and want to address that topic too.
What are Generic Brand Drugs?
According to FDA(Food and Drug Administration), Generic drugs are copies of brand-name drugs and are the same as those brand name drugs in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use. Generic drugs are required to have the same active ingredient, strength, dosage form, and route of administration as the brand name (or reference) product. Generic drugs do not need to contain the same inactive ingredients as the brand product.
Are they safe?
As per FDA, today 7 in 10 prescription filled are generic drugs. Health care professionals and consumers can be assured that FDA approved generic drug products have met the same rigid standards as the innovator drug. All generic drugs approved by FDA have the same high quality, strength, purity and stability as brand-name drugs. And, the generic manufacturing, packaging, and testing sites must pass the same quality standards as those of brand name drugs. You can check more facts and Myths about Generic drugs at generic drug section of FDA.gov
Why Generic drugs are cheaper than brand names?
When a drug company introduces their new drug to the market, they have to go thru lot of process starting from research, innovation, development, testing, approval, marketing and other costly affairs to get their drug out to the market. With more scientific advancement comes more cost associated with the research. Like every other business, money spent on research and other process by the drug company gets transferred to the product price and to the consumer in order for the company to make profit.
During the patenting and approval process, innovators/drug companies are restricted to use the patent for specific period of time which should allow them to set their price in order to get their return in investment and make some profit. After that period, drug chemical composition is open to any other company to manufacture the same drug in similar manner and make it available as Generic. Those companies don't have to spend money on research and approval except they need to get FDA approval on their generic drug. That's why brand names cost more than the generic brands.
Are all generic brand drugs same?
Yes, very much. Whether you buy the generic drug in Walmart or Kroger or CVS or Walgreen, it will have the same chemical composition. May be their manufacturing site might differ but all site has to go thru approval process to get the product out to the market. So it doesn't matter where you buy but buying the right generic equivalent to brand name matters.
How to save on buying Generic brands?
Independent research has shown that total prescription drug expenditures in the United States only increased by 4.0% from 2006 to 2007, with total spending rising from $276 billion to $287 billion. This is a sharp decrease from the 8.9% growth rate observed in prescription drug expenditures in 2006. One factor cited as a reason for the slowdown is an increase in availability and use of generic drugs.
Generic drugs helps save tons of money and it is your choice to take advantage of the savings. How? It is easy and simple. Here are some tips.
1. Many group and individual medical policies pay either full or 80% of the cost of generic drugs compared to only 25% on national brands. They support and encourage buying generic brands which saves them money as well. Also preordering 3months worth of supply in advance saves another 10% or more depending on the pharmacy service.
2. Buy generic over the counter medicines for headache, cough, fever etc., I save atleast $1 - $3 dollar on purchase of CVS or Walgreen generic over the counter medicines instead of brand names, sometimes even more when I get coupons.
3. Lastly, don't fight over for a penny of savings on generic drugs. If the generic brand only saves a dollar or two compared to brand name and your partner prefers brand name, just let it go. Fighting is not worth it for the small amount of saving.
In conclusion, Generic drugs have become more popular these days and many people are starting to realize that they are safer than ever. It is always good to buy generic drugs which are safe and saves you money.
Some content source: fda.gov
Image courtesy: trustpharma.net