Quality at a better price
Q. Are there any important differences between generic drugs and brand name drugs?
A. No, there are not. Generic drugs are made from the same chemical compound as their brand name counterparts. They are manufactured according to the same standards as name brand drugs and have The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval for safety and effectiveness.
Q. Why do generic drugs cost less?
A. When a company develops a new drug it has a 17-year patent period, during which no other company can sell the drug. This eliminates competition and causes the price to stay high. During this 17-year period, the company is able to recover its costs for research and development.
Q. What happens after the 17-year period?
A. Many physicians continue to prescribe the drug by its brand name because of their familiarity, thereby keeping the brand price high. Likewise, the competition between companies offering the generic version keeps the generic price low. Unlike brand name drugs, generic drugs are not advertised which helps keep the price down.
Q. What does this mean to you and your employer or organization?
A. By asking your physician to prescribe a generic drug, you get a quality medication at a fraction of the brand name price.
Q. Do companies test generic drugs?
A. Yes, the FDA requires testing by generic manufacturers to prove their drugs will give the same results as the brand name drugs.
Q. Does the FDA monitor the quality of generic drugs as closely as brand name drugs?
A. Yes. Whether they are brand name products or generic versions, all approved drugs must meet the same FDA standards of quality. All manufacturers are subject to periodic inspection. All must follow the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations. The FDA periodically collects samples of all drug products, both generic and brand name, from manufacturers and from the marketplace to be tested in the agency’s laboratories for purity and strength. When Express Pharmacy Services fills your prescriptions with the generic version of the drug your doctor prescribed, you can be assured that it is of the highest quality available.
Q. Do shape and color affect generic drug performance?
A. No, you can be assured the difference in shape or color has no effect on the way the drug works. Medications have unique codings for ease in identification.
Q. Is there a generic version available to fill my prescription?
A. Ask your pharmacist for more information. Chances are a lower-priced, generic version of the drug your doctor prescribed is readily available. The FDA has now approved over 8,000 generic versions of a wide variety of drugs.
Q. What are some common brand names which are available as generics?