Generic Meds Are Just As Good — Here’s Why

When it comes to the prescription drugs that we need, we sometimes find ourselves happening to make financial sacrifices. Health insurance may foot some of the bills, but there are still outstanding balances that may be too much.

Oftentimes, doctors may recommend a name-brand medication that ends up costing more money. While you could go exploring for coupons from or discounts at other pharmacies, you could actually opt for a generic option. They’re just as good as the name brand and here’s why.

They contain the same active ingredients.

Generic versions of name-brand prescriptions are cut from the same cloth, using the same active ingredients and usually just going by the name of that compound. For example, erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra or Cialis are available as a generic form under names like sildenafil and tadalafil. Generics usually come in a different look, so you may not get the little blue pill if you go for generic Viagra. If you’re looking at Hims reviews after a suggestion by your primary care provider or urologist, you may discover that the same products offered through Hims are available in the same dosage.

Most generic options hit the market after parents and exclusivities protecting the brand-name version have expired. You may notice when you go to your doctor’s office that pens and all sorts of office supplies and toys may feature a brand-name logo. This is usually part of an initial marketing push by these prescription drug companies, as part of exclusivity deals surrounding their medication. The generic form usually springs up quickly after that “contract” expires, receiving full FDA approval so long as it complies with the already-regulated dosage and safety protocols.

They’re cheaper than name-brand drugs.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of generic versions of prescription medication is on a patient’s wallet. Generic medications tend to cost less than their brand-name counterparts because there is no need to repeat any clinical studies conducted to demonstrate safety and effectiveness. Multiple applications of these meds are often approved by the FDA, creating competition in the marketplace, resulting in lower prices.

According to the IMS Health Institue, generic prescription medication saved the United States health care system nearly $1.7 trillion from 2007 to 2016. With multiple companies offering these options on a single approved product, consumer prices were driven down on average to 85% less than the name-brand drug. With insurance coverage, your treatment plan can be more affordable than ever. You can consult with a pharmacist regarding the generic versions that are available to you, or discuss them during a doctor’s visit with your primary care physician or specialist.

They meet the same FDA standards.

While multiple generic options of a prescription medication tend to receive approval from the FDA, there are rigorous standards that they must undertake to be cleared for sale at your pharmacy. The FDA Generic Drugs Program continuously monitors drug products to make certain all medicines at all levels of the supply chain are safe and effective. You may notice when officials are alerted to any negative side effects from a drug that the FDA is quick to investigate. This is all in the name of consumer safety.

The FDA requires drug companies to demonstrate a generic form of a drug can be effectively substituted and provide the same clinical benefits of a brand-name medication. Drug manufacturers must provide evidence showing that the generic version has the same active ingredient as a name brand, with the same strength and use indications. These medications must be manufactured under the same protocols as brand-name drugs. Once cleared, this generic option is cleared to take care of any pressing medical issues.

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