Generic or Brand Name Drugs: Which Are Best?

Generic drugs can save you money. Are they as good as brand name drugs, though? Get some answers here.


Your doctor has prescribed a generic drug for you. As you look at the prescription form on your way out of the office, you wonder, "Is it just as good?"

Yes. And here's why. First and foremost, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assures that generics are just as strictly controlled and monitored as brand name drugs. It's important to remember this because research shows that people greatly reduce their use of the medication they need when a drug costs more.

Let's start with what generics are. They are identical to brand name drugs in dosage, safety, strength, how they are taken, quality, performance, and intended use. Generics work in the same amount of time and in the same way.

But the key difference in a generic is that it is typically far less expensive than its brand name counterpart. That's because the companies that make generics don't have to invest the research and product development dollars to create the drug. They also do not usually spend a lot of money on advertising. So manufacturers that produce the generic are able to offer the drug at a discount.

The company that creates the drug gets a patent on the drug for 20 years, starting from the day the application for a patent is submitted to the FDA for approval. This patent means no one else can make the drug within those 20 years. When those 20 years are up, other manufacturers apply to the FDA to be allowed to sell copies of the drug. These versions must be thoroughly tested before being approved by the FDA.

The only other difference is that the generic ed pills does not look like the original.Trademark laws say the generic cannot look like the brand name. So the generic has the same active ingredient but may differ in color, taste or shape. Nothing else is different.

So you can use generics with complete confidence that you are getting the same thing, only cheaper.


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