Generic vs Name Brand: What Sets These Drugs Apart?

Updated on July 2, 2020

Did your doctor just tell you that you’re going to need to start taking a new medication?

You might have the option of choosing between name brand drugs and generic drugs. Although there isn’t a generic version for all the name branded drugs that are out there, you can find one for most of them.

Before deciding which one you want to go with, you should learn about generic vs name brand drugs so that you know the differences between the two. It’ll make it so much easier for you to choose between brand name vs generic drugs.

Continue reading to find out what sets brand name vs generic medications apart as well as what makes them similar.

Which Is More Effective?

There are a lot of people who naturally assume that name brand drugs must be more effective than generic ones. They think that because these drugs have the names of large companies on them, they have to be the more effective option for people.

But this isn’t true. Generic drugs are designed to use the same exact active ingredients found in name brand ones. They’re also designed to be the same strength as name brand ones, and they’re made to be taken the same way, too.

There is a chance that generic drugs might look a whole lot different than name brand ones do. Generic drug brands will often change up the look of their medications to separate them from branded drugs.

But you’ll find that generic drugs will be every bit as effective as you need them to be. You won’t have to worry about them not treating whatever condition you’re taking them for.

Which Is Safer?

Before a name brand drug is put out on the market, it goes through extensive testing to ensure that it’s safe to use. The FDA has a lengthy development and approval process that they put each and every name brand drug through prior to putting their stamp of approval on it.

But guess what? Generic drugs also go through this same exact approval process right before they hit the market. Even though they contain the same active ingredients as name brand drugs, the FDA holds them to a high standard.

This means that you won’t have to spend any time at all worrying about whether or not generic drugs are safe. Both name brand and generic drugs are safe to use based on what the FDA has discovered about them through their rigorous testing.

Which Is More Readily Available?

As we mentioned a little while ago, there aren’t always generic versions of medications available for name brand drugs. When name brand drugs are first released, there aren’t usually generic versions of them out there.

This is because the companies that have come up with these name brand drugs hold patents on them that prevent other companies from creating generic versions of them. But once those patents expire, those other companies are then free to come out with their own generic versions of name brand drugs.

Once this happens, it’s pretty easy to find both name brand and generic drugs in most pharmacies. There might be some pharmacies that only carry one or the other. But for the most part, there isn’t a real generic medicine vs name brand medicine debate when it comes to availability.

Which Is More Cost-Effective?

Did you know that almost 60 million Americans can’t afford the medications that are prescribed to them by their doctors? Many of them are forced to go without the necessary medications because of cost concerns.

These people will be happy to learn that, while generic vs name brand drugs are similar in many ways, the biggest difference between them is usually the price tags on them.

Since companies pour tons of resources into name brand drugs, they tend to be on the more expensive side. Companies spend a lot of time and money on these drugs, and they have to hike up the prices on them to make up the difference.

Generic drugs, meanwhile, don’t have to go through the same kind of testing as name brand ones since they’ve been proven to work by the companies producing name brand drugs. As a result, the companies that make generic drugs can keep their costs low.

You might be able to save yourself a significant amount of money by going with generic drugs over name brand ones. Even though they’ll do the same thing for you, they’ll do it at just a fraction of the cost.

Which Is Right for You?

Now that you know a little more about generic vs name brand drugs and what makes them each unique, you might know which one would be best for you. But you might also not be sure if using generic or name brand drugs are right for you.

So, what should you do? In this case, it’s best to speak with your doctor about what they would recommend.

There are some doctors who will insist on prescribing their patients name brand drugs at all times. There are others who are more than happy to prescribe generic drugs to their patients if it means saving them a few bucks at the pharmacy.

Whatever the case, you’ll need to make sure that your doctor sends the correct prescription to your pharmacy. It’s the only way your pharmacist will know whether to provide you with name brand or generic drugs.

Generic vs Name Brand Drugs: Which Should You Choose?

As you’ve seen here, generic and name brand drugs have a lot in common. The only big difference between the two is the price.

Keep this in mind when you’re having the generic vs name brand debate in your head. You might be able to save yourself a ton of money by going with generic drugs.

Just make sure your doctor is OK with prescribing you generic drugs. As long as they are, it’s usually going to be your best option.

Read our blog for other informative articles on prescription drugs.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.