A generic medicine is a drug that was developed with the same active ingredient as its brand name drug. It means that the effect of the generic medicine is the same with its branded equivalent. The development of a generic medicine requires a pharmaceutical company to keep the strength, dosage, safety, and quality of its branded counterpart. Pharmaceutical companies who are into making generic medicines can use the existing formulation from the maker of the branded medicine yet they are allowed to alter and make some changes such as the color of the drug, the shape, and the label.
A Generic Drug
Most pharma houses are applying for a patent whenever they produced a new drug in the market. For example. When Pfizer developed Viagra, the first erectile dysfunction medicine in the world approved by the FDA, they got a patent for it. The patent for Viagra was 20 years. It means that no other pharmaceutical company should create, develop, or sell a generic version of Viagra for the next 20 years. Last December, this patent for Viagra has expired and countless pharmaceutical companies have started developing their own versions of Viagra. Using sildenafil citrate, the active ingredient of the blue pill, you can now find at least 30 to 40 brands of generic Viagra in the market, especially among online pharmacies.
Is Generic Drug Safe?
Pharmaceutical companies that are producing generic medicines must do their part in ensuring that the medicines they are producing are safe and effective for human use. This is the only way for them to sell their product since there are countless pharmaceutical companies producing the same generic brand of a certain medicine. In order to have an advantage over other generic drug manufacturers, one should have their generic version approved by the FDA. In the case of Viagra, Teva, a generic drug manufacturer is now seeking approval from the FDA for their Sildenafil 100 drug.
According to the Food and Drugs Administration, a generic drug must be:
- As pure as its branded drug equivalent
- The same in quality as its branded drug equivalent
- The same in effect as its branded drug equivalent
- Has the same side effect as its branded drug equivalent
- Should be used in the same way as its branded drug equivalent (if it’s an oral treatment, it should remain as an oral medicine)
- Should have stable effect as its branded drug equivalent
- Should be manufactured with the same active ingredient as its branded drug equivalent, nothing more
- Administered in the same way as its branded drug equivalent
- Should be manufactured following Good Manufacturing Practices that all drug manufacturers are adhering to
With all the requirements that the FDA requires all pharmaceutical companies to meet when producing a generic medicine, it leaves no one a reason to doubt the efficacy of a generic drug.
Best Place to Find Generic Medicines?
With the introduction of online pharmacies, finding a generic medicine is now easier. If you need an erectile dysfunction medicine, go online and look for a generic ED drug and you will surely find a lot of options. The popularity of generic medicines has not just stormed the internet, there are local drugstores that are now dedicated to selling generic medicines only.
A Shelf of Generic Drugs
Internet drugstores or online pharmacies are the best options when it comes to generic drugs. They offer different brands of generic medicines. If you are looking for a hair loss treatment, you can find at least 6 or 7 generic brands of Finasteride or if you are looking for an erectile dysfunction treatment, you can find at least 10 generic brands of Viagra. Aside from offering a long list of options, online pharmacies are operating with less operational cost. They are not paying any utility bill and their only operating cost is maintaining their online store – therefore they don’t have to add more to the prices of their products to earn. This makes drugs from internet dispensaries cheaper as compared to a local pharmacy with a physical store that needs to pay their rent and utilities.
To date, more and more countries are requiring their health departments, doctors, and hospitals to endorse and use generic medicines. It is cheaper and is as effective as its brand-name drugs. For this reason, doctors are now required to prescribe generic brands first and the only time that they can give a brand name is when there is no generic equivalent for the needed medicine. With the increasing supply of generic drugs, local drugstores are now adding more generic drugs to their shelves.
Licensed individuals like doctors who are doing private practices can dispense medicines and there are more and more doctors who are trusting generic brands. With studies from the FDA saying that generic brands are as effective as its branded equivalent, most doctors are now seeing no reason why they shouldn’t prescribe and sell generic medicines.
Since most countries require manufacturers of generic medicines to prove that their products are bioequivalent of their branded counterpart, we can say that generic brands are now safe to use. Bioequivalent means that the generic drug produced has the same therapeutic effect as its branded equivalent but might look differently. Generic drugs are not required to be pharmaceutical-equivalent (same in color and look), they just need to work exactly like its brand-name counterpart.
With the approval of generic medicines in the market, we can have more options when it comes to our treatment. Since they are cheaper, we can now have more option or chance of getting treatment as well. These are just a few of the benefits of using generic medicine brands and if you still have doubt about its effect, why not give it a try now – check if your branded medicine has a generic counterpart and give it a try!