Brand-Name vs Generic Drugs


According to a GU Health Policy Institute study, “131 million Americans use prescription medication.” That’s approximately 66% of American adults. In fact, the same study shows, older adults are using the most prescription drugs for chronic conditions. With the cost of many brand medications, many people look for drug alternatives to save money.

Generic drugs have become a major alternative to brand name medication. However, with generic drugs versus brands, which one is truly the best alternative? Keep reading more details below to discover the facts between generic and brand drugs to determine what’s truly the best alternative.

Difference Between Generic And Brand Drugs

Do generic drugs provide the same relief as brand names? Are brand name drugs significant for my illness or injury? The following questions are very important when you’re trying to decide between the use of generic or brand drugs.

Generic Drugs

When compared to brand names, generic drugs have the same chemical makeup. Generic drugs look different, but they still have the same active ingredients as brand names. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures that generic medication performs and has the same quality as brands.


The FDA takes generic drugs through the same rigorous testing as brand names to ensure validity and labeling. The FDA has established testing for purity, potency, and strength. Today, 8 out of 10 prescriptions are filled for generic drugs.

Brand Drugs

Unlike generic drugs, pharmaceutical companies are paying for drugs that have failed during trial, research, and development. Brand name pharmaceutical companies are paying for more than the production of brand name medication.


Studies have shown in placebo testing, users have higher expectations for brand names, but generic drugs provide the same relief. Compared to generic drugs, brand names cost significantly more.

Expelling Myth About Generic Drugs

Are Less Effective?

Many elder patients presume generic drugs are less effective. Physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and the healthcare industry say, this is a myth. Moreover, they understand why people believe the significant price difference in generic drugs may lead some to believe they are inferior. Again, the FDA has testing measures that ensure generic drugs have the same effect as brand names. Using generic drugs will not impact the potency of your medication.

Take Longer To Work?

Generic drugs have the same response time as brand name drugs. Take, for example, antibiotics that are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. A generic antibiotic will treat your infection in the same amount of time as a brand name antibiotic. It’s a myth to believe generic drugs take longer to work says, the FDA. Generic drugs must act in the same manner within the body to be considered bioequivalent to brand names. However, generic brands are not expected to have the same inactive ingredients as brand name drugs.

woman with pills

Are Not Safe?

When asked, many people say they know the differences between brand name and generic drugs. Although, approximately 20% of Germans had a mistrust for generic drugs according to a recent drug health study. It’s a misconception to believe that generic drugs are not as safe as prescription medication. Many brand name drugs decide to go generic to lower the costs for the user, but they are still safe and just as effective as brand drugs.

Benefits Of Generic Drugs

Although generic drugs are available through your local pharmacy, users can save a lot of time having their prescription for generic drugs filled at an online pharmacy. There may also be an additional discount for generic drugs acquired at an online pharmacy. Check online pharmacy reviews 2021 for additional savings opportunities. The online pharmacy will have the savings option for generic drugs listed on their website or through customer reviews.

generic drugs are cheaper

The most significant benefit of generic drugs is the savings. Many generic drugs offer a small copay or $0 cost. Insurance companies may require generic drugs to lower the cost of your medication. Generic drugs have saved Americans $2.2 trillion dollars over the past decade.[

Take a look at the short video clip below to learn how you can save money by using generic drugs:

What Studies Are Saying About Generic Vs Brand Drugs

A University of Cincinnati study in Neurology discovered patients were given two shots for Parkinson’s Disease. One-shot was believed to be brand name and the other generic. However, both shots were saline and here’s what the study found:

The study participants were told the first shot was more costly and the second shot had the same effect, but because of manufacturing costs less.

the same effect

After the first shot, the motor skills of the participants improved by 28% despite being saline. The expectations of the more expensive shot were higher and participants expected higher results when clearly both shots were merely saline.

The authors of the study believe this is the same result in the user’s beliefs of brand drugs versus generic drugs. When in fact, generic drugs have the following benefits compared to brand drugs:

  • efficacy
  • effectiveness
  • health benefits
  • concentration
  • utilization

Generic drugs are quickly making advances in the pharmaceutical industry to save patients money. If it’s safe to do so, users should consider generic drugs to save money. In fact, you can talk to your doctor to see if there is a generic form of any medication that’s prescribed by your doctor and you should only take generic drugs as prescribed by your doctor.

Finally, in the difference between generic and brand prescriptions, the level of effect according to your blood concentration is also mandated by the FDA. Over the counter, generic drugs are expected to have the same level effect on your blood concentration as brand names. However, you should not switch between generic and brand name drugs with certain health conditions because it can have adverse side effects.

Overall, generic drugs are safe to use and cost much lower than brand drugs due to the manufacturing process.

Talk to your doctor about brand name versus generic drugs for more details today.

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