Branded medicines are original drugs produced by a pharmaceutical company that owns the patent. For the duration of the patent’s validity, the company will have the sole right by law to produce and market the drugs. When the patent expires, other pharmaceutical companies can manufacture a copy of the drug and sell them. These reproductions by manufacturers other than the original patent owner are called generic drugs.
Branded drugs have to go through several evaluations and trials to ensure that their claim is true. This procedure can take time and consume a lot of resources. This is the main reason why the prices of original drug brands are often higher than generic medicines.
Both generic and branded medicines can be prescribed by clinicians who get deals from wholesalers or medical product manufacturers. In a few cases, there are also medical products that can be customized through compounding, which is helpful for patients who can’t tolerate the regular pharmaceutical products available for the masses. To find out more about personalized medicine, read through Fagron Sterile’s article or browse through the internet to find more resources.
Factors To Consider Before Buying Branded Or Generic Drugs
Generic and branded medicines share various similarities but also have varying differences. For instance, regulating bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require the active ingredients in branded medicines to be present in the generic ones too. These active ingredients determine the efficiency of the drug and have to be similar in type and quantity. However, the inactive ingredients can differ from one manufacturer to another.
Also, the law protects the original version by requiring other manufacturers to make their products somehow different. This difference could be in color, shape, or packaging.
Branded drugs are often more expensive because more time and money are used in their production and testing before they’re approved by authorities like the FDA. Also, since brand names may be produced and distributed by only one company for some time, it gives them free rein over the price, which may be high.
On the other hand, generic drugs are often cheaper. This is because there are many manufacturers in the market that creates more competition, which in turn causes a price reduction to attract consumers. Additionally, most approvals for generic drugs don’t consume as much time or financial resources.
That being said, branded and generic drugs are similar in performance and safety, in general. It, therefore, means that despite the price, generics could be just as effective as the branded ones, as long as they’re produced by a reliable manufacturer. If you’re a bit restricted on budget, generic medicines are your best option.
The Inactive Elements
The inactive ingredients in generic and branded drugs may also vary. These could be the colorings, preservatives, fillers, coating, sweeteners, fatty acids, etcetera. Most firms develop drugs with unique inactive ingredients to be different from their competitors. Drug performance isn’t affected, but the medicine’s appearance, taste, or texture will be different.
When purchasing branded or generic medication, pay attention to the inactive ingredients. Some of them may cause problems if you have allergies, sensitivities, and intolerance to them. Drug intolerance can lead to diarrhea, bloating, or gas in your body. Allergies and sensitivities, on the other hand, may cause nasal congestion, rashes, itching, swelling, abdominal pain, dizziness, and difficulty of breathing.
You should find all the ingredients of a drug on its label or packaging. Therefore, before you buy, check the product’s label and watch out for ingredients that you may have issues with. If you’re buying your medicine online, make sure to read all the details. If there aren’t enough details, contact the seller first or do a bit of online research on your own.
If your medicine is from your doctor’s prescription, they’ll base the safety of the drug for you on the medical history you provide to them. If you have sensitivities, you may be given new types of branded medicines which are more expensive.
The Effects Of Switching From Generic To Branded Drugs And Vice Versa
Switching from branded to generic medicines will often let you save you significantly on cost. However, if you’re taking prescription meds, it’ll be best to ask your doctor first before switching to another product.
Substituting one drug for another, especially when they’re not the same could cause health problems. When you switch between two different drugs during treatment, you’ll find that drug tolerance and effectiveness may be compromised.
Because of drug regulations and testing requirements, both generic and branded drugs work the same, and none is inferior to the other. Both perform similarly when it comes to treating a particular health issue, as long as they have the same active ingredients. Their difference only comes down to the cost, and their appearance, flavor, coating, and other inactive ingredients. However, always remember to consult your doctor first when changing your medicines.