You might have come across generic and branded medicine during a visit to the doctor. They might have asked your preference if you want a generic version or a branded version of the prescribed medication. Let’s throw some light on this topic. This might help you understand which one to pick and which one’s better for you.
What is a generic medicine?
Whenever a company develops a new drug or medicine, it has a patent to produce and sell the drugs to the masses. That company has the sole right to market the drugs, and no other company can produce that drug or a drug with a similar active component. In a way, the patent protects the company.
The active component makes the drug effective and gives it the properties needed for specific treatments or helps to relieve certain conditions.
This is done to ensure that the company which developed the drug can get the money spent on the research back by manufacturing and selling the drug. Hence, the company can stay profitable and carry on with its research.
After a few years, when the patent expires then other companies can now produce and sell the drugs which have the active component of the drug. We call such kinds of drugs generic drugs or medicine. While the drugs developed originally, are branded drugs or medicine.
So, you find several companies with different names selling the same drug. The active component in all these drugs would be the same. The generic medicine might look different from its branded counterpart in many ways. They can differ in size, shape, colour, packaging, and even in the other insignificant components or inactive components. You may find it confusing if these are the drugs you are looking for. The best way is to see the active component mentioned in the label to ensure that you have selected the right one.
Cost-effectiveness of generic vs brands
Markedly, generic medicines are often less expensive than branded ones. As said earlier, branded companies do research before developing the medicine. So, it takes time and a lot of investment to come up with a new drug. The company has to recover its money and hence the higher cost of the medicine. This is not true for the other company making the generic ones. These companies haven’t spent a fortune to develop a medicine. All they need is to use the active component already developed by some other company. So, they can manufacture that drug at a relatively lower cost and they aren’t concerned about recovering their spent money.
This is why most generic medicines are available at much cheaper costs.
Are generic medicines effective like branded medicines?
The generic medicines are as effective as the branded ones. When it comes to the active components, both of them have the same components. Hence, they produce the same effect on your body and produce the same result. Their effectiveness is the same as a drug. So, a generic medicine will work similarly to a branded drug will.
Safety: generic medicines vs. branded medicines
Generic medicines contain the same active components as branded ones. So, they will produce the same effects, and their benefits will be the same. These medicines undergo a lot of testing to ensure that the final products sold to people are safe. The local or concerned authorities check the generic drugs for their strength, purity, and effectiveness before approving them. The inactive components might have a slight effect on you. You may have a slight allergic reaction to them; otherwise, they are mostly considered safe to use. If you notice such side effects, always consult your physicians.
Still, if you think that branded medicines are a better option then you should discuss it with your doctor. This will help you to understand what’s best for you.
Which is better: branded or generic?
Both of them have the same active components and have the same effect. So, it is hard to understand that both are not significantly different. It all comes down to your preference and budget. If you want to cut down your expenses and feel that the generic suits you, then go for it. But some doctors think the branded ones have better quality checks and are a better option for some medicines. Then you should have a word with your specialist before choosing the branded or the generic drugs.
Although, in most cases, the drug prices are too much, and generic seems reasonable in terms of price. If you don’t want to feel burdened financially, then generic medicines might be a good option.
If you want to switch to generic medicine, you should consult your doctors. Another thing to consider is how to tell you have picked the right drug. What you can do is check for the active components. The generic medicine will have the same active components as the branded ones. If you are still confused, then don’t worry. You ask the compounder to help you find the generic that you are looking for.
Even though generic and branded medicine have the same active component, they differ in cost by a considerable amount. This can be as high as 80 per cent. One can always opt for a generic medicine over a branded one. This will help bring down your cost and give you the same effects and benefits as any branded drug. You can always switch from branded drugs to generic ones. For this, you start by talking to your doctors and find what’s best for you.