Contrast Generic and Branded Drugs
One of the things to keep in mind when buying pharmacy drugs is choosing whether they are generic or branded. With this simple method, you can save a lot on medical expenses.
What is the difference between the two?
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All drugs have a generic name, and each generic drug name may have a corresponding brand name.
If the drug name used is only its generic name, it is considered a Generic Drug; but if the drug name used is its equivalent brand name, it is considered Branded Drug.
To clarify, here are some good examples: The drug paracetamol is a generic drug known to be used for fever; one of its equivalent branded drugs is Biogesic. Another example of a generic drug is ibuprofen, and one of its equivalent branded drugs is Medicol.
Because of the brand name of branded drugs, they are often much more expensive compared to the price of generic drugs.
Which is more effective to use?
Generally, generic drugs and their equivalent branded drugs are almost indistinguishable from (1) dosage or quantity of the drug, (2) method of use, (3) where used, (4) side effects, (5 ) side effects, and (6) side effects. In other words, there is no difference between a generic drug and its equivalent branded drug apart from their name and distant price. There is no advantage over generic and branded drugs because they have the same side effects.
Why is generic often cheaper than branded medicine?
Generic drugs are often cheaper than branded drugs because their manufacturers do not spend on drug research and development or on buying the rights to sell the drug.
Just because a generic drug is cheaper does not mean it is good. This is why the Philippine Pharmacists ’Association is pushing for cheaper but high quality products.
According to the discussion paper “Review of the Cheaper Medicines Program of the Philippines” by economist Oscar Pizaro, branded drugs in the Philippines are estimated to be 5 to 30 times more expensive compared to similar brand names of both manufacturers in India and Pakistan . This was the reason why the Cheaper Medicines Law was enacted.
Is generic drug as effective and as safe as a branded drug?
Yes, because it has the same active ingredient and dosage so it should have the same effect.
Here in the Philippines, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has imposed stricter standards of quality, safety and effectiveness for generic drug manufacturers. The rules for eliminating generic drugs in the market that are low quality, dangerous and not as effective as branded counterparts are strictly enforced.
Generic and branded drugs must have identical active ingredients. A generic drug must pass the standard of bioequivalence. Bioequivalence means that both drugs must have identical active ingredients and have the same effect on the patient.
Although the active ingredients of generic and branded drugs are the same, the excipients (inactive ingredients) are different. Excipients or 'inactive ingredients' contribute to the treatment effect of the drug. This is important to know when the patient is allergic or sensitive to one of the excipients or inactive ingredients.