How reliable are generic medicines? Why do generic medicines cost less?

Last updated on February 2nd, 2024 at 12:21 pm

Long story short Answer:

Generics are as much reliable as the branded ones.

Here’s why:

Generic drugs are one of the variants of brand name drugs. As the active chemical content is the same in both types of medicines, efficiency and reliability of generic are equivalent to branded one. They are as powerful as company drugs.

The difference between making a generic drug and the branded drug is hardly 5-10%. Like branded drugs, generic drugs also pass through different procedures because companies, who make generic drugs, have to prove the Indian government that generic is bioequivalent or formulation is the same as the branded drug.

Quality of generic medicines ensured by WHO-GMP, and this certification is granted by CDSCO (The Central Drug Standard and Control Organization) and state regulatory authorities via thorough inspections. So before coming into the markets, in India, the regulatory body governs the approval, production, and marketing of quality drugs. They also make sure that these are sold at reasonable prices.

Why do generic medicines cost less

Both generic and branded medicines have the same main substances, applications, safety protocols, dosage, and route of administration, strength, side effects, and expiry date, too sometimes, to maintain efficiency and reliability of both drugs equally. However, packaging, color, size, and shape may differ because of the difference in an inactive ingredient and modulation. But the main active ingredient is always remaining the same.

So from these, it can be said that as the generic drug is the same as the branded one in almost all the forms, it is reliable like other drugs. 

It is true that generic medicines are same as branded one and have same chemical components. Also, claimed that they are as efficient as company drugs and then question is why generic medicines are 80 to 85% cheaper than branded medicines if they have same qualities like branded one.

Usually generic drug comes after its main original drug comes into the market. Generic drugs are allowed to sale only after once patent of original drugs expires then only generic drugs are allowed to dale. So while manufacturing of generic drugs, no investment like drug discovery, drug development, and clinical trials needed. Also marketing and advertisements is not required as it is already done. Generic makers have only one duty that is to prove regulators that medicine is as effective and good as original version in humans. In addition to this, when generic drugs come into the market competitions of these drugs are high, so to sell more drugs they reduce their prices.

So as mentioned above, generic drugs are copies of brand name drugs that have already undergone costly procedures of research and development before approval. Therefore no additional cost is needed for generic drugs approval. That is the only difference between cost of branded and generic drugs.

Frequently Asked Questions related to generic medicines

1) Why do generic drugs cost less?

Generic drugs cost less than brand-name drugs because they do not require the same amount of research, development, and marketing costs as brand-name drugs. When a pharmaceutical company develops a new drug, it invests a significant amount of money in research and development, including clinical trials to ensure the drug is safe and effective. This cost is reflected in the price of the drug.

2) Problems with generic drugs?

There can be a few problems with generic drugs, including potential differences in inactive ingredients, which can affect absorption and side effects. In rare cases, a patient may have an allergic reaction to an inactive ingredient. Additionally, some patients may not respond to a generic drug in the same way as the brand-name version due to small differences in formulation. However, these issues are generally rare and the FDA requires generic drugs to be just as safe and effective as the brand-name version.

3) Are generic drugs less effective?

No, generic drugs are not less effective than their brand-name counterparts. Generic drugs have the same active ingredients, strength, dosage form, and route of administration as the brand-name drugs. The FDA requires generic drugs to be bioequivalent to the brand-name drug, meaning that they must be absorbed in the body at the same rate and to the same extent as the brand-name drug

4) Generic medicine list

Check Generic medicines here – Check

5) Generic medicine example 

Branded Medicine – Dolo 650MG

Generic Medicine – Paracip 650MG

buy generic medicine


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