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  • What is the difference between the generic drugs and branded medicines?

    Generic drugs can be a low-price substitute for the prescribed original medicines. People can solve their financial problems by using the cheaper alternative of the expensive drugs. In spite of being cheaper, generic drugs have the same influence and effects as their branded counterpart. It is not allowed to include into the generic drugs any active components, which differ from their original equivalent.

    There is a considerable difference in prices of the generic and original medicines. For example, some drugs, which cost 90 dollars in their branded version, can be purchased for only 2 dollars in a generic form.

    The reason of such difference is that the generic drugs are copies of branded medicines with the expired term of copyright protection. Usually this term expires in ten to fourteen years from the time of registration. After that other manufacturers are allowed to produce the drug. This means, that generic drugs are similar to their branded equivalents. They have the same way of influence and aims of usage as the original variants.

    So what is the point? Why do people think, that generic drugs work differently than the branded medicines? Even after the expiration of the copyright the original version is still on the market. So people can see both products selling at the same time. This makes them think, that these products should somehow differ, and they prefer to buy the well-known variant of medicine. It is common for many people to stick to the variant they already know about.

    The other reason is that the generic drugs have different appearance. It is hard for some people to change their approaches and start buying products, which look unfamiliar. Manufacturers of the original drug make a lot of efforts to popularize their trademark and familiarize customers with the product. They spend a lot of money on promotion and marketing means. Because of this the promoted medicine is associated in the minds of people with certain form or color and any discrepancies are considered unreliable.

    Ask about your doctor's opinion. When you get a prescription from your physician, ask him whether there is a generic form of this drug. Of course you can ask a pharmacist to give you the generic variant when you actually buy the medicine. But it is better to get this information right from your doctor. This will help you to make the right choice, as he can say whether a generic or branded drug is better in your case.

    Some sources report, that the generic medicines are means of insurance or low-price co-payment methods. They are also used for the therapeutic drug classes. In general, the generic drugs provide the same characteristics, efficiency and reliability as their branded variants.

    Brand Name Medications vs Generic medications

    What are generic medicines? Generic medicines are the same as their brand name ones; they have the same leading ingredients with the same dose and strengths. How it comes that the name of the medicine is different? It is because it takes the scientific or chemical name instead of the brand name the manufacturers give the medicine. Almost all of the brand name medicines have a twenty year patent life then other manufacturers can use that drug to make generic forms of it for a lot less money. The average price drop for a generic drug is between 30% and 80% once it hits store shelves for the public.

    Are there any differences between brand name medicines and their generic forms? The answer is positive, generic medicines in the United States will differ from their brand name equivalent such as: packaging fillers, the shape on the drug, flavors, colors, preservatives, the drugs expiration time, and labeling to a certain point. Nevertheless the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the United States makes the generic and brand name manufactures follow the same standards as far as potency, purity, strength and quality of the medication. As well the FDA will only accept the medications that have the same leading ingredients and has the same effect in the body as the generics counterpart the brand name drug.

    Is there a generic medication for all the brand name medicines? The answer is no, the only time a generic medication can be made is when the patent on the brand name medicine has expired. Also there will be no generic form of a medicine even when the patent live runs out if there is no manufacturer to make the generic form. According to recent studies just over half of the brand name drugs will have a generic form as well.

    Does a generic medication take longer to start working? No, as said earlier the drugs both brand name and generic medicines must satisfy the same standards and react in the body in the same amount of time.

    Are generic medications just as safe as their brand name version? Yes, even though all drugs have side effects and so on, the manufacturer must prove to the FDA that the generic medicine is just as safe to the person as the brand name one.

    Are the two different medications made in the same type of facility as each other? Yes, again the same standards must be met for both brand name manufacturers and generic manufacturers; there canít be any differences they both have to meet FDA guidelines. Actually believe it or not brand name medicine manufactures make up about 50% of the generic medicines that are on the market today. They will make a copy of their own brand name medicine or another one similar to it. The FDA will check over 3,500 different types of medicines a year to make sure they are up to the same standards and are safe and productive products to sell.

    Do you ask yourself the question, why should I buy the generic medicines over the brand name drugs? Well as you know the FDA is very strict on what is produced and can be sold in stores so even the generic medicines are top quality, basically they cost the real value of the medication and youíre not paying extra for the advertisements.

    Letís say on your prescription plan your pays are 35$ per prescription for a 30 day supply. Say with that same insurance plan you purchase the generic medicine instead of the brand name medicine and your pay is now 10$ per month, now just on that one prescription you will save $300 per year for the same medication just by switching to the generic variant.

    Moreover, insurance claims will all add up at the end of the year too. You may only pay $35 dollars per month on your prescriptions, but your insurance has to pay the remaining balance of that medication, which in the end will make your insurance rates go higher.

    If you are looking to switch to a generic medication over one of your brand name drugs, the places you can start would be your personal physician, or the pharmacist. Here are some questions you can ask them to find out: are the generic versions of this drug right for me? Is there a generic version of this medication Iím on? How much money can I save if I switch to the generic variant? Are there any risks involved before I switch my medications?

    According to the Food and Drug Administration, all the medications including the generic medications are all of high quality and can be used daily with all confidence.

    A quick note to share some info given to me by the Chief of Microbiology:

    When you quit Minocin, it stays in the body for as much as 5 days.

    Obviously, you have to take that into account when planning to enjoy Summer and get a suntan. The amount of Minocin present in the body is decreasing constantly, so that the amount present is much greater on the first or second day of withdrawal than by the fourth or fifth day.

    For the next 3 weeks, I am on Azithromycin 500 mg, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, to prevent Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria from producing a bacterial biofilm which would protect them from macrophage cells generated by the immune system.

    I am not taking any Minocin as I should be biking to Meech Lake tomorrow and every day on the weekend in order to get a good swim and a dark tan. Meech Lake is only 10 miles North from where I live and the access roads are all paved as they lead to the Summer residence of the Canadian Prime Minister at Mousseau Lake, also known as Harrington Lake by English Canadians. The Summer residence of the Prime Minister is often used by the PM and foreign dignitaries visiting Ottawa. All access roads were paved 16 years ago. Quite a change from the previous country dirt roads where you would get dust in your eyes with every passing car (not a pleasant thing if you wear contact lenses!!!).

    For the slightly increased level of pain (because I don't get the antiinflammatory effect from Minocin), I take Acetaminophen and Codeine tablets, usually 120 mg of Codeine, 3-4 times per day.

    Enjoy Summer!