With the cost of pharmaceuticals skyrocketing, generic drugs are getting a lot of attention these days. Whether or not you have prescription drug coverage, generic drugs are often more than 85% less than their brand-name counterparts. If you are thinking about switching, or even if you have already switched to a generic drug, you may wonder if they are as safe as brand names.
Take the poll to let us know what you think about brand name drugs vs. generic drugs and read more below.
What Is the Difference between Brand Name Drugs and Generic Drugs?
You’re probably familiar with over the counter brand name drugs, such as Bayer Aspirin or Tylenol. And you’ve probably seen their generic counterparts right there on the shelf next to them, labeled aspirin or acetaminophen. Another example of a brand name drug is the diabetes drug Glucophage and its generic counterpart, metformin.
In both these examples, the brand name drug and the generic version will have the same active ingredients. This is the case for all generic drugs: the active ingredients are identical.
Are Generic Drugs Just as Safe as Brand-Name Drugs?
When people think of the word “generic,” they often think of generic products like cereal that tastes weird or gets soggy faster. They usually don’t live up to the original branded version. This is not the case with generic drugs.
Generic drugs are required, by law, to work as well and be as safe as brand-name drugs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that generic drugs be just as safe as brand name drugs. And, to put to rest the myth that generic drugs take longer to work, the FDA also requires that generics start working just as fast as brand name drugs.
The Real Difference between Brand-Name Drugs and Generic Drugs
You may notice that generic versions of drugs have different colors, flavors, or inactive ingredients than brand name drugs. The U.S. trademark laws require that generic drugs look different than their brand-name counterparts. And they allow them to have different inactive ingredients. They are required to have the same active ingredients so that both versions have the same medicinal effect.
There you have it, did your perception of generic drugs and brand names change?