Generic Medicine FAQs

FAQs about Generics

What are generics?

Generic is a drug that copies the original or brand-name drug that was invented first. If a company has registered a drug with a new molecule or a combination of molecules and has received a patent. Then for some time, the company-manufacturer can use the exclusive right to produce this medicine. Usually, this period lasts for 20 years from the date of getting the patent. After the patent is expired, other companies also get the right to sell this medication. Such analogs are known as “generics”.

Do generic drugs act exactly like the original medications?

As a rule, the mode of action is the same. Generics have the same healing properties because they contain the same active substances as in the branded drug. The side effects of generics vs the brand coincide. In general, the right of generics to exist is proven by time. People buy generics more often than the originals, even in such developed countries as the United States or Sweden.

Is it true that generics are produced using older equipment than original medications?

This is possible only in some developing countries whose pharmaceutical enterprises are not subject to the control of the international standard GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice), or where the generics are produced illegally. Usually, a generic, like the original, is an officially approved drug that is produced according to all technological and hygienic standards. All countries of the world are actively engaged in the release of generics. There is even a separate branch of the pharmaceutical industry.

How to explain the low price of generics?

As pointed by Trusted Tablets staff, firms spend about 15 years developing a new, original drug, and research is divided into several directions at once. Unfortunately, up to 90% of projects – potential new products – are ineffective at the “finish line” and do not enter the market. Consequently, millions of dollars are thrown away. These costs have to be reimbursed by increasing the selling price of one or two drugs, which turned out to be successful. Firms that produce generics do not have such extra expenses, their task is to repeat what has already been developed before. This is the reason why the cost of medications is more accessible to the consumer. Typically, generics are allowed to produce only when the original drug was sold on the market for several years.

Why do generics have such a different price?

There may be several reasons. First of all, this is largely influenced by market conditions. There is no direct correlation in value and quality. The cost of a generic can also be affected by the cost of components. For example, you can pay different amounts for the active substance in the form of raw materials depending on the degree of purification and shelf life. Additional substances can also be of unequal quality and, accordingly, the cost may differ.

Is generic an exact copy of the original?

If we consider the chemical composition of both, then it turns out that in fact it is not duplicate. The main substances are similar when related impurities may vary, either in quantitative composition or in qualitative. But they do not affect the efficiency of the drug. After the expiration of the patent protection, the original company sells only the semi-finished product of its brand – the formula to other manufacturers.

Does every medicine have generics?

Almost every medicine has a generic. The exceptions are newly created drugs that are still under patent protection, unique drugs for the treatment of cancer and AIDS, where any additional ingredient matters.

What are the main benefits of generics?

The main advantages of generics in the pharmaceutical market are:

  • generic prices are always significantly lower than the prices of original drugs, which means that they are more available to all categories of patients, especially with low and average incomes;
  • generics allow doctors to strive to “treat everyone well” even in economically underdeveloped countries, using the most up-to-date generics of expensive original drugs in their practice;
  • generics are well studied from the point of view of effectiveness and safety, give the choice for a doctor and patient;
  • the “pressure” of generics on the market is one of the factors that make companies that manufacture original drugs more actively implement new promising developments.
  • the use of generics in clinical practice is an alternative and economic necessity for the full-fledged drug provision.

Category: Health Care

Tags: Generic Drugs, human health