There is a lot of confusion about generic medicine when people purchase the medication they need. Many believe that ‘you get what you pay for’ and shy away from generics with the view they are of a lesser quality. This is understandable as when it comes to your health and comparing brand vs generic medicine there is no point in saving a bit of money if it could be bad for you; while this is a logical viewpoint there is some vital information that is missing from the argument.
The same logic that we use based on price and our health is very important to the regulators of medicines the FDA. The FDA will not let any drugs on the market that have not gone through extensive testing and trials to make sure they are safe and that they work as described. Generic medicines are no exception to this rule as they have gone through the same strict tests! You see generic medicines are exactly the same as brand medicines; the only difference is the packaging, color or taste sometimes because generic medicines are exactly the same as a brand medicine and are made with the same scrutiny as a brand medication.
You may wonder why and how this can happen and why a brand medicine costs so much more when they are the same chemically as their brand counterparts; the reason has to do with the patent on a drug. After a company develops a drug and it is approved by the FDA as safe their patent and exclusive rights last for 20 years. In this time they are the only people that can produce and sell their product and can basically charge what they want. After 20 years though they have had their chance to make back their money from their investment in research and testing and unless they pay to have their patent extended. Many companies do not renew these patents however and that means generic medicine companies are allowed to make the same drug under the condition they must be exactly the same. Any change in the drug and the chemicals that are contained must go through the same initial testing phase and would effectively be a different drug.
Knowing this we can see how generic drugs can be produced by many companies which creates competition in the market which in turn drives down cost for products that are identical making the question of brand vs generic medicine one you can answer purely on a cost basis as you will NOT be risking your health with generic medicines.
For a list of common brand medicines, their generic counterparts and where to buy them, click below.