Generic medicines are the counterpart of brand-name drugs that come with the same strength, ways of administering it, performance intended, use, and dosage. The common difference of a generic drug to its branded counterpart is the price, taste, color, and packaging. The main requirement for a generic drug to be called a generic drug is that it should contain the same active ingredient as its branded counterpart. The FDA requires pharmaceutical companies producing generic drug medicines to ensure that their products are as effective and safe as its branded equivalent.
Is it Safe to Use Generic Drugs?
All generic medicines dispensed by local pharmacies and online pharmacies should be FDA approved. A generic medicine has the same active ingredient as its branded equivalent hence it is deemed to be as effective as the branded one. For example, Pfizer’s Viagra contains sildenafil citrate as its active ingredient. When the patent of Viagra expired, Teva developed its own Sildenafil product and called it Teva’s sildenafil 100. This ED medicine contains sildenafil citrate as well; the same strength with Viagra 100 mg. Teva’s Sildenafil went FDA scrutiny and is awaiting approval at the moment. Once approved, it means that the product is as good as Viagra, only cheaper.
Is a generic medicine weaker? It is not. The FDA requires pharmaceutical companies to develop generic medicines with the same strength as its branded equivalent. It means that generic will work on your body in the same way that a branded medicine does. It means that both generic and branded medicines have the same side effects. People who are allergic to Viagra will most likely suffer allergic reactions to Teva’s Sildenafil drug.
Generic Price versus Branded Price
Generic medicines are generally cheaper as compared to branded drugs. The reasons for this are as follows:
- Generic medicine production doesn’t require intense and expensive research as the formula is already available
- Testing the efficacy of a generic medicine is easier and takes less time as it is made with the right formula as developed by the manufacturer of the branded medicine
- Generic medicine manufacturers do not have to worry about the development of a new drug yet they have to worry about stiff competition. Once a patent expires, different pharmaceutical companies will start developing their own version (generic) and once it hits the market, they will literally compete with one another by selling the least expensive generic version
This only shows that the low price of generic medicines has nothing to do with the quality, efficacy or safety of the medicine being sold. It is about the production cost and since pharmaceutical houses that produce generic medicines compete with one another, they regulate their prices to remain competitive in the market.
Top Generic Pharmaceutical Companies
There are large and small pharmaceutical companies that focus on developing generic medicines whenever possible. Not all branded medicines have generic counterpart though. One reason why pharmaceutical companies are producing generic is popularity and market demand. A drug that is not commonly used often doesn’t have a generic counterpart. Who are the best generic drug makers in the world?
Here are some of the top generic medicines manufacturers worldwide.
- Teva Pharmaceuticals – Teva is only producing generic medicines and over $9B revenue on sales annually. Among their top generic products are Adderall, Aripiprazole, Augmentin, and Simvastatin. Their generic Viagra (sildenafil 100) is still awaiting approval from the FDA
- Sandoz – Sandoz is the generic division of Novartis and with their generic drugs production, they are earning at least $8.5B annually.
- Actavis Inc – A Swiss pharmaceutical company, Actavis is earning $70M on their generic drugs production. Among their top products are OCncertam OxyContin, and Intuniv.
- Mylan Inc. – Mylan has produced more than 100 generic medicines in the past years and has earned more $6B in sales.
- Sun Pharmaceuticals – this Indian-based pharmaceutical company has been producing generic medicines over the years. They are the number 1 supplier of generic medicines in the US. It bought Ranbaxy Laboratories recently, another large Indian pharmaceutical company.
These pharmaceutical companies are focused on producing quality and effective generic medicines that are made available worldwide. Most online pharmacies offering generic medicines have collaborated with them in producing low-cost drugs to their customers. This is the reason why legit online pharmacies can offer their medicines at a lower price.
Generic medicines used to be a small chunk of the pharmaceutical drug industry. None or few doctors trust it and prescribing it. Today, most doctors and health organizations preferred generic medicines in order to save medical cost and because it is more accessible and easier to find in the market. The market for generic drugs is now dominated by Indian pharmaceutical companies like Sun Pharmaceuticals, Cipro and Ajanta Pharma.
Why are more and more people preferring generic medicine over its branded counterpart?
- Generic medicines are cheaper
- Different brands of generic medicines are easier to find on the market as compared to a single branded medicine
- Most doctors are now prescribing generic medicines
- Generic medicines are as effective as its branded equivalent
- Generic medicines produced by legit pharmaceutical companies are tested and approved by the FDA just like branded medicines
Generic medicines are considered as big help especially for people who need to take medications regularly. People with diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and erectile dysfunction are thankful that they can continue their treatments without interruption because they can afford generic medicines. With a big difference in price and nothing on quality and effect, who wouldn’t want to switch to generic medicines?
With this information, we can safely debunk the myth about generic medicines being less effective and of lower quality. In reality, generic medicines today are becoming more and more popular because of its price.