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Safety of Generic
Branded or prescription drugs
can be a costly medical expense, especially for older people
and those who are chronically ill...
Date : May 22, 2006
Branded or prescription drugs can be a costly
medical expense, especially for older people and those who
are chronically ill. However, pharmacists substitute less
drugs for many brand-name products. Depending on your
prescription needs, your savings could be significant. A generic
drug is called by its chemical name; a manufacturer assigns
a brand name. The products have the same ingredients. Paracetamol
is a generic name Crocin is the brand name. To help you understand
between the two a short -list is provided hereunder.
Currently, about half the drugs on the market
are available in generic form. Generic drug is the term used
for products that contain the same medicinal ingredients as
the original brand name drug, but which are generally cheaper
in price. Nearly 30 percent of all prescriptions filled by
pharmacies use a generic brand, and hospitals use generic
drugs a lot. Chances are that you have received a generic
drug at some time, whether you realize it or not.
Whether a manufacturer makes brand name drugs
or generic ones, the standards are the same. All drug manufacturers
must perform a series of tests, both during and after production,
to show that every drug batch made meets the requirements
for that product.
The ingredients are the most important element
in the testing of a drug. The ingredient in the drug that
helps cure you or make you feel better, is called the "medicinal"
or active ingredient. When medicinal ingredients are being
manufactured, small amounts of impure materials may be produced
as well. Manufacturers have to set limits for any impurities
that may remain after the drug is produced.
If the medicinal worth of generic drug is
the same as a branded one why the price difference? The principal
reason for the reduced cost of generic medicines is that these
are manufactured by smaller pharmaceutical companies which
do not invest in research and development into new drugs.
The significant research and development
costs incurred by the large pharmaceutical companies in bringing
a new drug to the market is often cited as the reason for
the high cost of new agents - they wish to recover these costs
before the patent expires. Generic manufacturers do not incur
these costs, with bioequivalence testing and the actual manufacturing
process costing relatively little, and are able to charge
significantly less than the "innovator" brand.
Studies have been conducted that have proven
without a doubt that generic drugs are safe and effective.
Generic drugs are always less expensive and can save patients
and insurance companies thousands of dollars without compromising
the quality of care.
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