Generic Drugs Benefits

 By Admin  

Generic Drugs Benefits - Many people turn to generic drugs to help curb health care costs. It’s not uncommon for a person’s monthly prescription costs to be several hundred dollars. For those on a fixed income or a tight budget, like the elderly or low to middle income families, it’s almost impossible to afford medication. Generic drugs cost less than brand name drugs. However, there are some things that are important to understand about generic drugs.

Are Generic Drugs Identical to the Brand Name Drugs?

The FDA has a definition of a generic drug that indicates that they are in fact identical. “A generic drug is identical -- or bioequivalent -- to a brand name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use.” And it’s true that generic drugs go through a wide variety of testing to make sure that generics:

1). Contain the same active ingredients

2). Are identical in strength, dosage form, and route of administration

3). Have the same use indications

4). Are bioequivalent

5). Meet the same requirements for identity, strength, purity, and quality

6). Are manufactured under the FDA's good manufacturing practice regulations

Understanding Generic Drugs - Generic Drugs Help Cure With Low Cost

What you might notice is that while the active ingredients need to be the same, the inactive ingredients do not. This means that fillers, colors, binders and other chemicals don’t have to be the same. These small changes can impact the effectiveness and your reaction to a generic drug. The formulation of the generic drug can be different than that of the brand name as well.

What Does This Mean? Deciding If Generic Drugs Are Right for You

Often, a pharmacist will automatically change your prescription to a generic when one becomes available. It’s important to ask questions and to talk to your doctor. Most of the time a generic drug does not cause problems. However, it may not work in the same way or have the same effect on your body. For example, the absorption time may differ for a generic drug.

If you’re starting a new prescription and a generic is available, it makes sense to save money and try that drug first. If your long-term prescription is now available as a generic, do your research. Talk to your doctor and ask questions about the differences between the two. It usually makes good financial sense to try the generic; however, it’s also important to pay attention to the results. Note any differences in the effects of the drug, including side effects and the effectiveness of the new generic medication.

Yes, it’s true that generic medications can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars annually. However, they may not be as identical and interchangeable as you might believe. Ask questions, educate yourself on the differences, and make the best decision for your health and budget.

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