Generic drugs are expected to be equally as effective as brand-name drugs. In fact, generic drugs will not be approved by the FDA until the manufacturer of the copy-cat drug proves that it is statistically as effective and safe as the brand-name drug.

Another important fact about generic drugs are that they must contain the same active ingredient and be taken in the same way for the same conditions as their brand-name equivalent. However, generics may vary in their inactive ingredients, color, and flavor from the brand-name drug that they are duplicating. Some of these variations are necessary to honor trademark regulations that are set up in the U.S. to protect the original manufacturer.

Generic drugs are just as good as the name-brand drugs but are cheaper since the company producing the genetic version did not have to invest in the original research to manufacture, test, and market it. These same drugs are also cheaper for insurance companies so patients may find themselves penalized by their insurance companies for choosing a brand-name drug if a generic is available.

I myself and my family choose the generic version of any drug that is available to save money. However, beware not to buy the cheapest generics available and check where your pharmacy is purchasing them. You do not want to buy generic drugs that are produced in foreign countries where they may not have the same standards. To understand this concept, just consider how A Ford, a Cadillac, and a Mercedes are the same yet different. Yes, they are all cars but each one cost a different amount and while they basically do the same thing they do it in a slightly different way that affects your comfort and the car’s function.

Another thing to remember about generics is that while the active ingredient is the same, the way the drug is manufactured is probably different. The secret processes, formulas of diluents and binders may make onset and delivery of the active ingredient different in various generics.

In conclusion, I believe that generics are safe alternatives to brand-name drugs and that they will continue to play a major role in healthcare as more and more patients go off some of the major drugs. On a lighter note: When visiting a doctor’s office think twice before following his advice if his office plants have died.

[tags]generic drugs, inactive ingredients, active ingredients, insurance, brand-name drugs, pharmacy, FDA[/tags]