The answer to this question is yes, generic medicines are safe to use just as the branded medicines are. Generic drugs are 100% safe as they undergo the same safety screenings that the branded medicines go through. Generic meds may be affordable but that is not at all related to its safety for use or even its efficacy. Not only are they safe but they are also just as effective as their branded counterparts. And above all, generic drugs are very affordable with prices that can be up to 80% less than the costs they used to spend for buying brand-name meds.
Generic Medicine Pills
But even with these facts, many people are still in the dark when it comes to the benefits of using generic meds. Most people, especially the ones who are used to taking brand-name meds, think that generic medicines are inferior or weaker versions that don’t do very much when it comes to treating the health conditions that they’re made for. They hold on to the idea that the brand-name medicines are superior and these are the ones that should be bought at all costs, even if they’re expensive. But this is not the right way to view generic medicines since their low price does not really define their worth. It’s different with generic medicines because one can’t really equate its value with its price tag. These cheap medicines are actually much more than what most people perceive of them.
We all know that large pharmaceutical companies are pouring in a lot of money for the research and development of a new drug. Making new medicines are pretty costly and the early stages alone costs these large pharma companies billions of dollars. The production of these brand-name drugs up to their marketing, advertisement, and distribution adds millions of dollars more to the total expenses. These are the things that make brand-name medicines expensive and most people are convinced that because they are costly, they must work better than generics. But this is another misconception that many people believe because even if generics are cheap, they work in an identically to their branded equivalents.
Are Generics as Safe as the Branded Meds?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the agency that requires all drugs to be safe and effective and there is no distinction between the brand-name drugs and generic medicines, they both go through the same rigorous quality checks and screenings before they are allowed to be sold in the market. If the FDA screens the generics in the same screening as the branded drugs, it must only mean that both drugs are of the same grade and quality.
FDA’s requirement for the generic medicines is for them to have the same formulation, quality, potency, purity, and stability as their branded counterparts and generic meds pass with flying colors in these test. But how come they are so cheap when they have the same benefits and risks that the expensive medicine brands have?
Unlike the costly brand-name medicines that the drug manufacturers started making from scratch, generic medicines are simply made from the medicines that have already been made. Instead of starting from zero, the generic drug companies simply reproduced the already existing expensive drug and mass-produced them, making them cheap and affordable to many. But this can’t be done by these companies on a whim since all the branded drugs have a patent protection that lasts for up to 20 years, meaning that until the patent expires, reproducing then selling it is illegal. After the patent expires, the generic drug manufacturers are then allowed to reproduce their own version of the drug.
Patent Protection Laws
This law was made to protect the investments that have been made by the company who originally manufactured the drug. While the patent protection is in effect, they have the sole right for selling the medicines for many years which is fair, enough time for them to get the return on their investments. When these patents are nearing expiration, generic drug companies can then apply to sell generic versions of those drugs and level the playing field. With many generic versions entering the market of the branded drug whose patent has expired, the competition will make the prices even lower to the benefit of the customers.
Why Do Generic Brands Look Different Compared to Brand-Name Counterparts?
Since generic brands are made by different pharmaceutical companies, it’s normal that they would differ to each other in color, shape, flavors and certain inactive ingredients. This is all normal since it’s forbidden by the trademark laws for other companies to imitate the appearance or for their drugs to have the exact same look as the brand-name drug that they are reproducing. But appearances don’t really matter when it comes to generic drugs because they have the exact same chemical composition as the branded drugs, using the same active ingredient. Users can expect identical results in using generics as in taking brand name drugs.
But even if generics do have the same active ingredient as the brand name drugs, some generic drug manufacturers somehow manage to make their generic drugs better versions than their original brands. Take erectile dysfunction (ED) meds for example. Its standard form is in the hard pill as what Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra are, swallowed with water and taking effect after 30 minutes to 1 hour. But some generic drug manufacturers successfully made other forms of the drug such as soft gel capsules, sublingual pills, chewable tabs and oral jellies that work even faster, taking effect for as quick as 10 to 15 minutes while still using the exact same active ingredients.
Generic drugs are absolutely safe to use just like their brand-name counterparts. Generics also undergo the same safety and quality checks as the branded drugs which are done by the FDA to make sure they are 100% safe for consumption. They may look or taste different than their branded versions but generic meds give the exact same effect as them since it uses the same active ingredient.