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Is There a Difference Between Branded and Generic Medicine?

Medicine, what would the human race do without them? It started with herbs thousands of years ago.

medicine research

In 1799, a vaccine created by Benjamin Waterhouse paved the way for eliminating smallpox across the globe. The year 1922 saw the invention of insulin, a drug that would be used to treat diabetes. In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the drug which led to the discovery of many other life-saving antibiotics. In vitro kinase assay screening was also developed recently to track how drugs affect the body.

With all the diseases in the world, drugs need to be both accessible and high-quality. However, both factors are points of debate when it comes to the subject of generic medicine.

Branded Vs. Generic

Companies that get rights to produce medicines mass produce them and have significant influence over their price.; The drugs produced by these firms are called branded medicine. Some companies also create the same medicine that works exactly like the banded one. These are called generic drugs, and it costs more affordable than their branded counterparts. If they work the same as their competitor, why are they significantly more affordable?;

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), companies often protect the medicine they create with patents to prevent other companies from creating more affordable copies. The authority stated that this exclusivity allows companies to discover and develop the drug to recoup research and production costs from their newly-released medicine.

Once the patent for these products expires or if a company creating generic drugs successfully disputes the patent, generic versions can be made. They often cost significantly less than brand-name drugs because the companies making them don’t have to do animal and human tests to get them approved and made. The inclusion of these low-cost generic drugs is also good for the market, according to the FDA. This is because they create competition, causing companies that make brand-name medicine lower their prices to match their generic rivals. Lower drug prices is always a win for consumers.

Does Cheaper Mean Less Effective?

Some people see generic medicine as less effective than their branded counterparts because they cost less. This is far from the truth. The FDA states that generic medicines that are modeled after branded drugs are required to perform and their brand-name equivalents.

Generic drugs also use the same ingredients. They only look different in color to distinguish themselves from branded medicine. Because of this, they share the advantages and disadvantages that come with brand-name drugs. Every new generic medicine has to go through the FDA’s Generic Drugs Program. Each product goes through strict and rigorous tests before it is approved.

Generic drug companies must prove that their items are on-par with brand-name medicine when it comes to the following factors:

  • The drug must have the same strength, effectiveness, dosage, safety, quality, and stability as its branded counterpart.
  • The active ingredients in the medicine are the same as the brand-name drug.
  • The manufacturing processes on the generic drug are the same as the branded medicine’s.
  • The generic drug will have the same label as its brand-name counterpart.

You can expect generic Ibuprofen to be as strong and last as long as Advil and other branded alternatives. A study in 2009 was also dedicated to finding out if there was a difference in effectiveness between generic and brand-name drugs. The paper, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that while there were differences in performance, they were insignificant.

The quality of the medicine you take can make or break your treatment, which is why it’s understandable for any consumer to be meticulous about the meds they buy. When it comes to medicine, the brand isn’t always better, and generic doesn’t always mean cheap. Regulators ensure that generic meds have the same quality as their branded counterparts, so you shouldn’t hesitate to buy them, especially if they’re significantly more affordable.

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