Know Your ‘Generic’ Medicines!

Girls, we know how we have to pay through our nose to foot any medical bill, but do you know that you can actually buy cheaper medicines without compromising on quality, safety and efficacy? Here is everything you always wanted to know about brand names and generic drugs. Trust us, it’s no rocket science!

Brands and generics

A brand-name drug is a medicine that’s discovered, developed and marketed by a pharmaceutical company. Once a new drug is discovered, the company files for a patent so the other companies or rivals don’t copy it and sell it in market. This is important as a lot of money is spent in discovering and developing a drug.

Once a drug has been discovered, it has two names: a generic name (the drug’s common scientific name) and a brand name, to make it stand out in the marketplace. This is true of prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter drugs. An example is the pain reliever Tylenol®. The brand name is Tylenol® and the generic name is acetaminophen.

Generic drugs have the same active ingredients as the brand name drugs have which are already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Generics are made available in markets only after the patent of a brand name drug expires. Patent periods may last up to 20 years for some drugs. The same company that makes the brand name drug may also produce the generic version. Or, a different company might produce it later on.

The potency of a generic drug is at par with the brand name drug. So make sure you are not buying medicines at a higher price when the generic versions are already present in the market at cheaper rates. Hence, don’t shy away from asking your doctor to prescribe you cheaper generic drugs available in the market. You are completely justified in doing this and have every right to do so.

After all, awareness leads us to make better choices. So, stay aware, stay healthy!

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