A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Generic Medication and its Advantages Over Brand-Name Drugs

You often hear about generic drugs. Do you know what they are and how they might benefit you?

What is a generic drug?

A generic prescription medication is a drug that has the same active ingredient formula as a brand name drug but often costs less. This means the generic drug is just as effective as the brand name drug. The FDA has approved the use of these drugs and rates them as safe. These drugs do not have to repeat the same level of rigorous testing as the brand name drug as the brand name already went through that full process.

Drug development is costly

When a new drug is developed it initially benefits from exclusivity. This means that generic drugs will not be approved for a period of time. In the US this is 3-7 years depending on what is new about the drug. This protection is put in place to encourage development and protect the investment dollars that go into that development. Everything from development to testing to marketing adds up to be quite expensive to pharmaceutical companies. As patients we want to see medical advancements and this protection encourages companies to drive that advancement.

Marketing is costly

The initial marketing of a brand name drug drives up the price. The drug companies have to build brand awareness of a new product and show not only the public but the medical community the benefits of the drug. If this drug solves a new problem for patients or more effectively solves a problem, the pharmaceutical company needs to explain this benefit.

What are the cost savings of generics?

Consumers benefit from not having to pay for repeatedly costly testing for the generic drug. The public also benefits when there are multiple generic drugs for the same brand name product; a competitive market place is created which is beneficial to the wallets of the consumer. You will see lower prices. The overall cost savings of generic drugs are quite significant. The FDA states that generic medications can cost 85% less than the brand name equivalent product.

If you are finding your medication to be quite costly and possibly prohibitive, talk to your pharmacist. College Park Pharmacy, Howard’s Pharmacy, Mooney’s Pharmacy, and P&S Pharmacy are local pharmacies here in East Tennessee who have great resources to help you on your journey toward better health. Our pharmacy team will be happy to discuss with you if a generic medication can meet your needs while saving you money. Our pharmacy teams understand that your medication should improve your life not limit your life because of the expense. Please come by and see us.