Generic vs. Brand-Name Medication

Many people have found themselves wondering if a generic brand medication is just as good of an option as the brand-name version. Is the generic brand as effective? Is the generic brand safe? Does the generic brand have the same drug and strength as the brand-name medication? The answer is yes. In fact, you have probably already taken a generic drug before. This is because most prescriptions are filled with generics. In fact, 9 out of 10 prescriptions filled are for generic drugs in the US.1

Generic drugs work just like brand-name drugs. It has the same active drug in the same strength as its brand-name version. Also, the generic drug company must show that the drug will work just like the brand-name drug and that the ingredients used in the medication are safe. The FDA’s Office of Generic Drugs ensures that people have access to safe, affordable generic drugs by following a rigorous review process that includes: managing the regulatory process to facilitate drug approvals, establishing science initiatives to research generic drugs, publishing data and reports on generic drug development and review, and offering educational materials and information.1

So, what are the differences between generic and brand-name drugs? The biggest difference is generic drugs can save you money! Also, a generic drug may look or taste different than the brand-name version. If your pills look different than before, your pharmacist could have filled your prescription with a generic drug from a different company. But check with your pharmacist to make sure.

The bottom line… generic drugs are effective, safe, provide the same health benefits as brand-name drugs, but cost a lot less money!

1 Information provided by

“How Safe Are My Generic Drugs?” Therapeutic Research Center Pharmacist’s Letter, November 2019

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