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10 Facts about generics to share with your patient

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  1. WHAT IS A GENERIC DRUG?

The World Health Organization defines generics as, “drugs that are usually intended to be interchangeable with a brand-name product that is manufactured without a licence from the innovator company and marketed after the expiry date of the patent or other exclusive rights”. 

  1. ARE GENERICS SAFE TO USE?

Generics are as safe and effective as their brand-name counterparts, with the same composition, strength, quality, purity, and potency. It also goes through the same quality tests as brand-name products. 

  1. ARE GENERICS MADE WITH THE SAME ACTIVE INGREDIENTS AND ARE THEY AVAILABLE IN THE SAME STRENGTH AND DOSGAE FROM AS THE BRAND-NAME PRODUCT?

Generics produce the same effects in the body as brand-name products, because both contain identical active ingredients. The difference is in the name. 

  1. DO GENERICS WORK THE SAME WAY AS BRAND-NAME PRODUCTS?

Generics use the same active ingredients as brand-name products and work the same way, so they have the same risks and benefits as their brand-name counterparts. 

  1. CAN I ASK MY PHARMACIST TO SUBSTITUTE A BRAND-NAME PRODUCT WITH A GENERIC?

Yes. Except if the prescriber has written in his or her own hand on the prescription the words ‘no substitution’ next to the item prescribed, if the retail price of the generic is higher than that of the prescribed medicine, or if the product has been declared not substitutable. 

  1. DO GENERICS TAKE LONGER TO WORK IN THE BODY?

Generic drugs work in the same way and in the same amount of time as brand-name drugs. 

  1. DOES EVERY BRAND-NAME DRUG HAVE A GENERIC DRUG?

Most drug patents are protected for 17 years. The patent protects the company that first made the drug. The patent doesn’t allow anyone else to make and sell the drug. When the patent expires other drug companies can start selling the generic version of the drug. But first they must test the drug and regulatory authorities must approve it. 

  1. WHY DO GENERICS COST LESS THAN BRAND-NAME PRODUCTS?

The pharmaceutical companies producing brand-name drugs pay research and development costs. Generic companies use this data to manufacture drugs, resulting in cost savings. 

  1. WHY DO SOME GENERICS LOOK DIFFERENT FROM BRAND-NAME PRODUCTS?

Some countries’ trademark laws do not allow a generic to look exactly like other drugs on the market. Generics and brand-name products share the same active ingredient, but other characteristics, such as flavourings and colours, that do not affect the safety or efficacy of the generic medicine, may be different. 

  1. ARE GENERICS AS STRONG AS BRAND-NAME PRODUCTS?

Medicine regulatory authorities require that generic drugs must be as strong and stable as brand-name products. 

 

REFERENCES: Specialist Forum 

 

 

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