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Switch from brand name to generic medications and save money

Date Added: March 10, 2010 08:32:25 AM
Author: anvgelica19
Category: Blogs: Personal
As the U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA) has put it, to get FDA approval, a generic medicine must: contain identical active ingredients as the brand name drug (inactive ingredients may differ), be identical in potency, dosage form and route of administration; comply with the same batch requirements for identity, strength, purity and quality; be made under the same established standards of FDA's Good Manufacturing Practice regulations mandatory for trade name products. To put it differently, their pharmacological effects are exactly the same as those of their branded versions. Though generics are chemically identical to their trade name counterparts, they are ordinarily sold at considerable discounts from the trade name price. It is estimated that generic drugs save customers $8 - &10 billion annually at retail drugstores. Even much more cash is saved when hospitals use generics. The main reason for the relatively low cost of generic drugs is that competition rises among producers when drugs no longer are protected by patents. Manufacturers spend less money on creating a generic drug, and are, thus, able to maintain profitability at a lower price to customers. The costs of these generic medicines are so low that many developing countries can easily afford them. For instance, Thailand is going to purchase millions of doses of the generic version of Plavix, a blood-thinning drug to prevent heart attacks, at a cost of 3 US cents per dose from India, the leading maker of generic medicines. Manufacturers of generic medicines do not need to spend money on discovering a drug, and instead are able to reverse engineer known medication compounds to allow them to manufacture identical versions. Firms do not bear the burden of proving the safety and potency of the medicines through clinical studies, for these trials have already been conducted by the branded firm. Generic drugs may at times be molded differently than branded versions, such as a generic tablet versus a branded capsule. Still, they have the same active ingredients and are manufactured under the same standards as trade name drugs.
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