Being an informed healthcare consumer includes doing your homework when it comes to making decisions about the medicines you take. You want to ensure the medicines are safe and that you are getting the best price.
More people are choosing generic medicines to fill their prescriptions than ever before. They are finding the benefits of generics make them an excellent choice for many of the medicines they commonly take.
Below are some of the benefits of generics to consider when deciding if switching from a brand-name drug is right for you.
The FDA says that all drugs must work well and be safe before they approved for consumers to use. Generic drugs use the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs and work the same way, so they have the same risks and benefits as the brand-name drugs. They are also manufactured at the same high-standard factories as brand-name drugs. Always be sure that the generic drugs you select are FDA-approved.
When new drugs are first made, they have drug patents. Most drug patents are protected for 17 years. The patent protects the company that made the drug first. The patent does not allow anyone else to make and sell the drug. When the patent expires, other drug companies can start selling the generic version of the drug, once it is approved by the FDA.
Creating a drug costs a lot of money. Since generic drug makers do not develop a drug from scratch, the costs to bring the drug to market are less. This allows consumers to benefit with lower prices on many of the medicines they need.
According to the FDA, “Generic drugs have exactly the same active ingredients and effects as brand-name drugs, but they can cost as much as 30 percent to 80 percent less”.
Still, there are some people who doubt generics because they think that anything that costs more must be better. But it is important to remember that the reason generic drug manufacturers can sell the drugs for less is not because the quality is lower.
In the United States, trademark laws do not allow generic drugs to look exactly like the brand-name drug. However, the generic drug must have the same active ingredients. Colors, flavors, and certain other parts may be different. But these things do not affect the way the drug works.
Although generic versions are not available for all medications, there are ways to find out if there is a generic version of a brand-name drug that you and your health care provider can consider.
For more information when deciding if generics are right for you, contact your primary care provider, a pharmacist, or another of your healthcare partners for help.
Reference this Generics Fact Sheet to learn more about generics.
You can also learn more by visiting the FDA website at: http://www.fda.gov/genericdrugs
Search for your medicine on the DiRx website to see how much you’ll save, or search by condition.
If you don’t see your medicine on our list, our customer care team would be happy to help. If there’s a generic available, we will find it, source it, and ship it to you promptly. Our pharmacists are a quick call away to answer any questions that you may have at 877-FOR-DIRX.