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Using generic therapies.pdf
What are Generics?
How are generic medications different?
The term generic is usually used to describe a less-expensive product
While generics have the same active ingredient as the brand name
that is an imitation of a brand-name product. As a consumer, when
medication, the inactive ingredients may be different. Inactive
you go to the store and purchase a generic version of a product, the
ingredients are fillers that are added to the medication to give it a
generic version of the household product implies that, as a consumer,
certain color or to add bulk to the tablet to make it a certain size. For
you are paying less for a lower quality product. You are sacrificing
legal reasons, a generic drug differs from its trade-name counterpart
quality or effectiveness of the product to save money. The same IS
in size, color, and shape. The generic medication can sometime look
NOT TRUE for generic medications.
very different from the original brand name medication. Genericmedications cost less because generic manufacturers do not have to
A generic drug is identical, or bioequivalent, to a brand name drug in
pay as much for expensive research and development, sales,
dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality,
advertising, or marketing as the original brand name medication.
performance characteristics, and intended use. Although genericdrugs are chemically identical to their branded counterparts, they are
Who makes generic medications?
typically sold at substantial discounts from the brand name drug.
According to a 1998 report by the Congressional Budget Office,
Some generics are made by the same pharmaceutical firms which
generic drugs save consumers an estimated $8 to $10 billion a year
make the brand name drugs. The rest are made by pharmaceutical
at retail pharmacies. The average price per prescription that is
companies that specialize in the manufacturing of generics. In all
saved when using a generic medication is approximately $18 per
cases, all prescription medications (whether brand or generic) must
meet the same rigid federal standards for quality, strength, and purity.
How are generic drugs approved?
Is there any reason not to use a generic?
In the United States, a company that develops a new drug can be
Sometimes generic versions are available but can't be freely
granted a patent for the drug itself, the way it's made, or how it is to
substituted for the original drug because no standards for comparison
be used. A manufacturer often owns more than one patent for a drug
have been established by the FDA. These products may be sold but
and may even own a patent on the system that delivers and releases
are not considered equivalent. An example is the thyroid medication
BRAND VERSUS GENERIC MEDICATION COMPARISON
treating underactive thyroid glands.
National Chain Prices
, also known as "the
human use, leaving the manufacturer only approximately 7 years to
about which generic drugs can be considered identical to their brand-
exclusively market a new drug. After a patent has expired, other
name counterparts and which cannot. Generic drugs that are identical
companies may sell a generic version of the drug, typically at a much
to the brand-name drugs may be freely substituted in any
lower price than the original brand. The Food and Drug
prescription, unless a doctor indicates otherwise. Pharmacists and
Administration works with pharmaceutical companies to assure that
doctors can explain which generic drugs are acceptable substitutes
all drugs (both brand and generic) meet specific requirements for
quality, strength, purity , and potency. To gain FDA approval, ageneric drug must:
By choosing a generic medication that is equivalent to a brand name
ü contain the same active ingredients as the brand name drug
medication, you can save a significant amount of money for your
ü be identical in strength, dosage form, and route of administration
employer and yourself by decreasing the cost of your prescription.
You will be saving a significant amount of money and you will not be
compromising on quality. Generic medications typically cost 30–60%
ü meet the same requirements for identity, strength, purity, and quality
less than their brand name counterparts. The bottom line is that by
ü be manufactured under the same strict standards of FDA's good
choosing the generic equivalent of your medication, you are helping
manufacturing practice regulations required for innovator products
your health plan save money and doing your part to help keep downthe rising cost of healthcare.
Copyrighted by Pharmaceutical Technologies, Inc. 2000. Illegal to reproduce.
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