What do you need to know about generic medicines?

Buying medicines is no different than buying pearls, nowadays. The cost of prescription drugs is skyrocketing and with the rising global population, there is an acute shortage of the availability of such medicines in some regions or patients who need it the most. It is where generic drugs can prove to be a cheaper alternative for your health. However, not many people understand what generic drugs truly are and how they differ from branded medications. In this article, we break some of those walls around generic medicines and help you understand why they are better than prescription drugs. 

In the US, every 9 out of 10 prescriptions are filled for generic drugs annually. As per the FDA, a generic drug is a medication created with the same salts, safety, strength, administration, quality, performance, and dosage as the brand-name drug. In simpler terms, generic drugs are copies of brand medication and meet all the standards as set by the FDA.

The brand medications that are produced by manufacturers post extensive research and testing leading to a higher drug cost. Moreover, a patent is required for the medicine, which is valid for almost 20 years. On the contrary, generic medications do not invest in research and development hence they can be manufactured at a much lower cost, which by extension means that generic medicines cost less money. Moreover, generic medicines make it easy for customers to afford medicines, fueling the IoT and telemedicine innovation. 

Can you test generic drugs?

Patients who consume brand-name medications are always skeptical about the effectiveness and safety of the medicine. However, there is no evidence that supports the notion. Even so, when filling prescriptions, pharmacists can substitute a less expensive generic medicine unless a prescribing doctor specifies a specific brand-name medicine.

Do generic medicines always work like brand-name medicine?

It is usual for patients to think that generic medicines work differently than brand medicines, however, that isn’t the case. Since the active ingredient in both these medicines is the same, in terms of quality and quantity, the effect on the human body remains the same for both generic and brand medicines. 

If you’re considering generic medicine, here’s how to stay safe

The following are some tips that will protect you from any harm:

Check the generic formulation in the FDA book: Search the prescription and over-the-counter section to know about the ingredients. Then use this ingredient to search for all the approved medicines substitutes. 

Let your doctor know if you experience any changes or unknown symptoms: If you’ve been consuming the medicine for some time and suddenly, with a new batch, you start experiencing issues, then let the doctor or the pharmacist know. 

Check the inactive ingredients in the generic drug: If you’re sensitive to any ingredient, then you need to check the formulation for the generic drug. 

Read the label of over-the-counter generic drugs: Some generic drugs are easy to confuse. So, you need to check the label for the generic drugs. 

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