We often hear recommendations to buy generic, because they are pretty much the same as brand-name drugs, and are cheaper to boot. But many still stick with a brand they know, because after all, no one wants to take a gamble with their health. Here is a breakdown of facts you should know:
- How They Come About: Generic brands start surfacing when the patent of the brand-name drugs expires. Patents can last up to 20 years, and after they expire, other drug makers are allowed to come out with generic versions, which the US Food and Drug Administration rigorously regulates. The generic drugs are required to have the "same high quality, strength, purity and stability as brand-name drugs," according to the FDA website.
- Why the Cost is Less: Generic drug producers charge a lower cost, because they are spending a lot less on marketing, advertising, and are not investing heavily in research and development.
- Different Looks and Names: You might be used to the look of your brand-name drug, so if the generic has a different appearance, this might cause some confusion. Although the contrast might be great, the generic drugs still perform the same functions. Brand-name drugs often give themselves catchy names, which are different from the original drug name, so bear in mind that a different name doesn't mean a different drug.