Frequently Ask Questions

What are generic drugs?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), generic drugs are bio-equivalent to the brand name drugs. Generic drugs are often manufactured after the patent of brand name drugs is expired. A generic drug has the same active ingredient as its branded counterpart, so it is as effective as its branded version. Since the active drug is the same, the intended use, pharmacological action, safety, efficacy, warnings, precautions, and even side effects are the same. The bio-equivalency is the same without compromising the quality of the generic drug.

Why generic drug are 80% cheaper?

The main reason why a generic medicine is much, much cheaper than its branded version is the cost cutting. The manufacturer who develops a generic drug does not have to bear the cost of research, development, clinical studies and trails, advertisement, marketing, and promotion, whereas the brand manufacturer has to pay for all the aforementioned stuff. Generic drugs are way to cheaper than their branded counterparts are.

Why generic drugs have different name than the brand-name?

The U.S. trademark laws does not allow generic drugs to look exactly the same as their branded counterpart. Therefore, the color, shape, size, coating, and flavoring of generic drugs are completely different from their brand counterparts. However, such differences do not affect the safety and efficacy of a generic drug. Although they look and taste different, they are as safe and effective as their branded version.

Are generic drugs and brand name drugs equally effective?

Yes, generic drugs and brand name drugs are equally effective because they both have the same active ingredient, though the inactive ingredients must be different. The FDA requires generic drugs to have the same quality, strength, potency, efficacy and stability as their branded counterpart. For instance, generic Sildenafil is as effective as Viagra, because both have the same drug – Sildenafil Citrate.

Does a generic drug get the FDA approval?

The generic pharmaceutical manufacturer must prove to the FDA that its generic version of the drug possesses features as that of the brand name drug. According to the FDA, a generic drug should:

  • contain the same active ingredient as its brand name version
  • have the same strength, route of administration, dosage, etc.
  • have similar intended use, dosing, and labeling
  • offer the same efficacy and safety to the patients

Does a generic drug take longer to work?

No! Generic drugs are absolutely identical to their brand name version in each and every aspect. So, they would take the exact same amount of time to act and exhibit their effects in the body as the brand name drugs. After all, generic drugs and brand name drugs are bioequivalent to each other because of the same active ingredient.

Are generic drugs developed under the same facilities as brand name drugs are developed?

Yes, Both generic medicines and brand name medicines facilities should meet the same standards of manufacturing practices laid by the Food and Drug Administration, which usually conducts several extensive inspections annually to make sure that all standards are met and fulfilled. The FDA does not permit drugs to be produced or developed under substandard facilities, be it a generic drug or a brand name drug.

Are brand name drugs better than generic drugs?

Not necessarily! In some cases, yes, while in a few cases, no. More often than not, it is the efficacy and side effects of the drugs that help decide the quality of the drugs. Since both the drugs have the same ingredient, they are equally effective. In fact, most people prefer using a generic drug instead of a brand name drug to save money. As discussed above, generic drugs are nearly 80 to 85% cheaper.

Do I need to provide a prescription to buy a generic drug?

It depends on the drug – whether it is a prescription drug or an over-the-counter (OTC) drug. If you want to buy a generic drug that contains an active ingredient that is regulated and controlled, you need to provide a prescription. For instance, if you want to buy generic Viagra, you need to provide prescription. On the other hand, OTC generic drugs do not need a prescription, you can simply buy them online.