All of us have heard a lot about generic drugs. We all know that they are easily available in the market. Be it generic Viagra or generic Cialis, you can easily find it . In fact the generic drugs market is huge. But what actually are these generic drugs? Are they different from other prescribed drugs? Are they equally effective? Are they safe? These are just few questions that our mind still wonders. Let us gain some information on generic drugs.
A generic drug is nothing but a copy of the brand-name drug. It is a copy in dosage, safety, strength, how it is taken, quality, performance and intended use. It is same in quality, strength, purity and stability as brand-name drugs.
Also, these drugs are equally safe as brand-name drugs. Since these drugs use the same active ingredients and are shown to work the same way in the body, they have the same risks and benefits as their brand-name counterparts. They even work for the same amount of time as brand-name drugs.
The only difference is that generic drugs are less expensive than brand names. These drugs are usually sold at a much lower price than the brand name drug. This is because generic manufacturers don’t have the investment costs of the developer of a new drug. They do not have to spend money on research, development, and marketing of the drug. And so they sell their product at substantial discounts. Also, once generic drugs are approved, there is greater competition, which keeps the price down. Today, almost half of all prescriptions are filled with generic drugs.
In this regard it is important to mention that the brand-name and generic drug facilities must meet the same standards of good manufacturing practices. FDA does not allow drugs to be made in substandard facilities. FDA makes it a point to conduct around 3,500 inspections a year to ensure that these standards are met. The facilities available at generic firms are comparable to those of brand-name firms. However, the generic drugs look different from their brand names. This is because of the trademark issue.
It is also important to note that not all drugs have a generic counterpart. Some drugs are protected by patents and therefore supplied only by one company. However, when the patent expires, other manufacturers can produce its generic version. At present, about half the drugs in the market are available along with their generic forms.