Brand Name vs. Generic Prescription

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Brand Name vs. Generic Prescription

brand and generic medication

When you are shopping at popular stores like Walmart or Publix, you are always faced with the decision to get a name brand or generic product in almost everything you buy. The name brand is always better quality and always the higher priced. The difference along with price of name brand versus generic is quality. Some products have better quality name brands than others and generic is at the bottom of the list when it comes to quality. But the prices are affordable so more products are getting generic brands.

What’s the Difference?

We know the quality difference when it comes to buying laundry detergent brands along with other products, but is it the same difference in quality with prescription drug brand name and generic?

Most prescription drugs have an “off label” brand that is available for purchase and the price difference is noticeable. But just how different is the quality between the two labels?

“In terms of similarity, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration require that generic drugs meet the same standards as brand name drugs. This means that a generic form of medication is required to be equivalent to the brand name drug in use and effect, dosage, safety, strength, quality and route of administration. The generic and brand name drug must also have the same active ingredient,” says Katelin Speer is a clinical pharmacy specialist at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

When you buy Great Value laundry detergent, you do not get as fresh of a smell and bright colored clothes as you would using a brand like Tide. The same does not go for prescription drugs according to the FDA. In stores there are multiple options for generic brand, but this wide option doesn’t follow prescription drugs. Not all medication has the choice of generic brand, especially if the product is fairly new.

The way generic prescription  drugs work is when a company develops a new product, they put a patent on it so no other companies can produce it until the patent wears off. Once it does, other companies can start creating a generic brand. Advertising the drug and clinical trials do not need to be paid for, so the cost of the drug does not need to be as high as the original one. Before choosing or switching to generic drugs, it is recommended to always discuss it with your doctor before.