Generic vs Brand Name Drugs: What’s the Difference?

You’ve probably seen them every time you go to the grocery store or pharmacy: those washed out, more plain-looking alternatives to big brand name items. Maybe you’ve even felt the temptation of going to purchase them instead.

Many consumers are unsure whether or not they should trust generic, non-brand medication. Many people are, in general, unaware of the differences between generic vs. brand name drugs. After all, doesn’t cheaper just mean lower quality? And is lower quality medication really something you want to spring for?

There are a lot of misconceptions that surround generic non-brand drugs. Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.

What’s The Big Difference?

Many people operate under the assumption that brand name drugs and generic medication work differently. This misconception comes from the varied price and overall marketing of the two different products. Consumers want to feel like they trust the products they buy, and often they don’t feel as if they do.

That being said, generic drugs work just the same way a brand-name medication would. They are made of the same ingredients and have the same quality, strength, and rate of administration as the brands that most consumers are familiar with.

This is often very surprising for consumers to discover. Many realize they have preconceived biases against these products without realizing why.

These generic medications are actually no less effective than the brand names that you might already be using. In fact, this is a legal reality. In order for a generic brand medication to be sold, the manufacturer must prove to the FDA (federal drug administration) that the drug could be substituted for the traditional brand name version.

That means these generic brand drugs must have the same strength, impact, and duration of effect as the brand name medications. They should be, in almost all areas, identical to the medication one is used to purchasing.

So if you see a generic brand on the counter, you should rest easy knowing it works just as well as the brand name medication that likely rests just above it. There’s really no big difference at all.

So Why The Difference In Price?

Even when people are told this, they still tend to avoid generic brand products at the pharmacy. Despite FDA approval, people assume these medications must be priced lower than others for some good reason.

There are actually a few reasons that generic brand medication tends to be placed at a lower price, and it isn’t a question of quality. Big corporations selling brand name medication are required to do a long series of tests and clinical trials before selling their products.

Running these tests and trials can be quite expensive. In order to make profits with all these other costs, big brand names are forced to charge higher prices than their smaller, generic competitors.

Several companies also often sell generic brand medication, increasing competition and driving prices down. Most brands have a monopoly on the kind of medication they are selling and thus can set the price as high as they wish.

Generic medication is often much, much cheaper than brand-based price points. You can find a generic version of most drugs for around 80% cheaper. That’s quite a huge bargain!

Is There A Reason To Go With A Brand, Then? 

With this knowledge in hand, is there any reason you might want to still go with a big brand name? You might still feel like you want to, which is a really good indication of the power of branding and marketing.

The big brand names do have better packaging, of course, so if that’s important to you that it something to consider. That is a high price point for better art, of course.

There might be some situations where there is no generic alternative for the kind of medication you are looking for. There are certainly specific kinds of drugs that only exist in their big brand form.

There are some situations where people genuinely respond more poorly to generic medication. In these situations, a person must be hyper-sensitive to changes in their medication. If you suspect that a generic version is not working as well or is providing side effects, you should speak to a medical professional.

You’re Sure They’re Safe? 

It’s very difficult to get around people’s distrust of generic medication. We’ve been trained and ingrained to trust a package more than we are the facts surrounding a product’s creation.

But you can rest assured that every generic drug product on the shelf has gone through rigorous testing by the FDA. There is no way that they would allow a product that is not safe into stores and the homes of the American public.

The FDA conducts tests on just about every aspect of the medication that you could think of. They will only allow it to be sold it if is found to be completely safe.

They also even take things a step further and will monitor the manufacturing plant where the medication is made. At the first sign of trouble, sales of the generic medication will be shut down or diverted.

Generic Vs Brand Name Drugs

Many consumers tend to trust brand name medication over all other varieties. But at the end of the day, there are no big differences between generic vs brand name drugs. The FDA has approved both, and they both should provide the same benefits to the individual who decides to use them.

Need more information for your everyday life? Check out our lifestyle page for a lot more advice, tips, and tricks.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

Check Also

Tips to Manage Your Online Reputation Like a Pro

Having a positive reputation is necessary. It refers to how other people view a person. …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.