Generic Drugs vs Name Brand Drugs
When it comes to your health, it’s only natural to want to put the best quality products in your body. From healthy food choices to natural cosmetic products, more and more people around the world are becoming increasingly conscious about the things they use. Could something as seemingly straight forward as a prescription drug also be affected by this rise in health awareness? One of the first thoughts that comes to mind might be something along the lines of, “Well, don’t name brand and generic drugs contain the exact same active compounds, providing the same level of effectiveness for the patient?” Essentially, that’s correct, but it’s more complicated than that.
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So, in today’s blog post from the prescription delivery experts at GoGoMeds, we’re going to do a little comparing and contrasting between generic prescription drugs and name brand prescription drugs. Through our discount prescription delivery service, you’ll be able to conveniently shop the best deals online to get the low cost prescriptions you need whether they’re generic or name brand. Countless people require prescription medicine for a number of ailments and conditions, and we’ve made it easier than ever to get your prescription drugs online. Learn more about how GoGoMeds works by visiting here!
Why Name Brand Prescriptions Tend To Be More Expensive
Generic prescriptions are almost always significantly cheaper than their name brand “alternatives.” Why is this? Well, unlike the generic drug manufacturer, the original pharmaceutical company that developed the name brand drug must pay for more than just the actual production of the medication itself. Indeed, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, they estimate that the cost to develop and win marketing approval for a new drug is about $2.6 billion. This figure also pays for the research and development that went into medications that failed in trials and can’t legally be brought to market.
Despite all the investment in time and money that goes into making a name brand pharmaceutical, at the end of an approximate seven year period of exclusivity, the FDA allows one specific generic to be the first to market. Then, that generic is given a period of exclusivity for about six months. At the end of this time period, any manufacturer can make a generic, so long as they can prove that the new generic can achieve the same drug concentrations in the blood that the brand name does.
This process allows countless Americans to save colossal amounts of money by using the generic alternative to a name brand prescription. While a generic option it not always available, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, generics have saved Americans roughly one trillion in health care savings over the past decade. That’s big money, right there – a current rate of more than one billion dollars in savings every other day!
Are Generics Really The Exact Same?
If generics are usually way cheaper than their name brand alternatives, then are they really carbon copies of the original drug as far as recipe, effect, dosage, and potential side effects go? Well, as for dosage, it’s the exact same – generics must have the number of milligrams of the drug that is included on the label of a pill bottle. Generic prescriptions are also required by the FDA to achieve a blood concentration within a ten percent threshold of that of the name brand drug in question. In reality, generic drugs usually only vary by three or four percent in one direction or another.
So, in terms of active ingredient, generic and name brand drugs are very much the same. It is possible that one generic will get you a three percent lower concentration than the name brand drug, and another generic can get you a concentration that’s three percent higher – thus, the two generics can be a total of six percent different from each other. However, most people will never notice a difference. Functionally, generics and name brands are the same.
Is It Dangerous To Switch Between Generic and Brand Medications?
In most cases, there shouldn’t be any health complications or even noticeable differences when switching between generic and name brand prescriptions. This is also usually the case with switching from one generic drug to another generic drug. NTIs, or narrow therapeutic index drugs, are an exception. NTIs are drugs where small differences in dose or blood concentration may lead to serious therapeutic failures or adverse drug reactions that are life-threatening or result in persistent or significant disability. Essentially, these drugs have a very narrow margin for dosage, and it is usually recommended to continue using the exact same prescription from the same manufacturer.
If you are taking an NTI drug, talk with your doctor about the risks and “rewards” of switching. For all the other drugs, if you switch and you have mild symptoms, there is a chance that those things will actually resolve and you should stay the course. However, if it turns out to be a mild inconvenience, then you should let your doctor know right away.
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