Introduction

With the growing cost of pharmaceuticals, people are turning toward generic drugs. Many people are making the necessary cutbacks in their lives to meet the higher cost of living. One of the cutbacks is switching from brand-name medicines to generic medicines. With so many companies increasing the prices for their branded products, generic prescription drugs is an avenue that is being explored by consumers that want the most for their dollar.

Issue

Do people favor using generic or brand-name prescription drugs?

Rule

People favor generic drugs if:

1)      The cost of the generic prescription drug is reasonably cheaper than the branded prescription drug

2)      The generic prescription drug has the same effects as the branded prescription drug

Analysis

When comparing generic prescription drugs and branded prescription drugs, generic drugs generally cost a third less than their brand-name counterparts. It takes several years of costly development and numerous clinical studies to get a drug approved. Makers of brand-name drugs want to “brand” their identity through advertising. Companies pay large sums of money to advertise in commercials, billboards, magazines, and the internet just to catch your attention. All that money companies pay factors into the cost you pay at the end.

In contrast, if we look at generic prescription drugs, they have fewer research and development costs because the research and safety checks have already been done by the brand-name company. This allows for the generic drug to be a lot cheaper in price because less money was spent in the development process. Many individuals favor using a generic brand of medicine vs. the branded one simply based on the cost. If the cost of one medicine is lower than the other, consumers tend to favor the lesser priced medicine.

When comparing the effects of generic vs. brand prescription drugs, the generic must have the same effect as the branded prescription drug. Generic drugs are essentially copies of brand-name drugs that have the exact same dosage, intended use, effects, side effects, risks, safety, and strengths as the original drug. The pharmacological effects should be the same for generic prescription drugs as they are for the brand-name. The FDA states that when a generic drug is approved, it has met their strict standards. However, some variability can and does occur during the mass produced manufacturing process of a drug. There are very small variations in purity, size, and strength that the FDA allows and deems acceptable and safe for consumer use. A generic drug manufacturer must also prove that its drug is bioequivalent to the name brand drug.

Conclusion

Since generics are cheaper and have the same effects as their branded counterparts, people favor using generic prescription drugs over brand-name prescription drugs.

For more information on this issue, contact the Kulkarni Law Firm.