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Thread: Generic vs Brand-name Drugs

  1. #1 Generic vs Brand-name Drugs 
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    So the major difference between the two is that brand-name drugs are more expensive, and only because they have to put up with the excessive research/development costs as well as the long winded application time before they get FDA approval. Whereas, generic drugs are cheaper because they are imitations of the brand-name drugs (also FDA approval required but no R&D costs). Companies selling generic drugs can only do so after the protective patents run out on brand-names (these patents times~10-20yrs are supposed to give brand-name drug developers a chance to recoup the investment they've made (~1billion$$US) and to make a profit).

    I heard that generic drugs are supposed to have the same "active" ingredients, chemical mechanisms...etc....but they only need to be within 30% of FDA guidelines in order to obtain an approval to manufacture/sell the drug. (so "inactive" ingredients, color, shape...etc... may be different in the generic drug)

    **I don't even know what they mean to say "active or inactive" ingredients...if some ingredients in the drug differ wouldn't that possibly affect the drug's efficacy? potency? so does that mean brand-names are slightly more effective?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    By active ingredients they mean the drug itself, like alprazolam in Zanax. The inactive ingredients usually include some cellulose component or such that keeps the pill together and makes it a reasonable size if you're dealing with a tiny dosage.

    Unless that inactive ingredient is somehow involved in the effective delivery of the drug, in which case the generics would probably copy it anyway, you don't usually see so much difference in effectiveness.

    The only thing that may concern you is if the generic is manufactured somewhere like India or China, then the quality control may not be as great as say a drug manufactured in the major pharmaceutical hubs like Germany or the USA.


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  4. #3  
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    I am really hesitant to use the generic drug and would prefer the ones that has the brands on them. I am just wondering, are those generic drugs also effective just like the ones that has brands?


    Christine
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