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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Generic drugs work as well as their branded counterparts

The Generic Challenge: Understanding Patents, FDA & Pharmaceutical Life-Cycle Management (second edition)
Having kidney disease is very expensive. There are several medications to maintain. To name some, they may include anti-hypertensives, urine alkalinizers, allopurinol and occasionally antibiotics which can cost more than a hundred pesos (or more than 2 USD) per tablet especially for some brand name drugs.

Good thing there is a choice of using generic drugs.

There is a misconception in a lot of people including physicians regarding generic medications. Many of them would say that generic drugs are of lesser quality and therefore it is their belief that they do not work as effective as their branded counterparts. Therefore they are less prescribed by these doctors. But I tell you. Authentic generic drugs do work and I am a living testament to that.

I have been taking generic drugs for my maintenance medications and based on lab results, they work just fine. From abnormally high levels of uric acid, my uric acid levels decrease to normal levels significantly using generic allopurinol. The price is about three times lower than the brand name allopurinol.

Generic Ciprofloxacin is 3 to 5 times cheaper than the branded Ciprofloxacin but I take the generic one since it has already proven to me that it can really treat my urinary tract infection.

When I am prescribed with a medication like Ketoanalogues which are also very expensive, I choose the cheaper counterpart without fear of taking a drug of poor quality because I can see the effects in my lab results and I feel good.

In the process of taking generic prescription drugs, I save a lot of cash for my other medications and needs.

Imagine another kidney patient who has little resources. If he or she is forced to buy the branded drug, he or she may not be able to afford it and he or she may end up with no medication whatsoever. So why not prescribe a more affordable generic drug if the situation calls for it?

Actually what makes a branded drug expensive is because of the startup cost for the development of that drug as well as research and marketing costs. When the patent for that branded drug is already expired and multiple manufacturers sell the generic versions of that drug, the price is cheaper for the generic drug since the generic drug manufacturers can afford to do so as they were not the ones who initially spent a lot for the research, development and marketing of that same drug.

So really, it has nothing to do with the facilities or the quality of the generic drug manufacturers since the same standard is applied to all by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) be it generic or branded.

So the next time you buy a brand name medicine and it is too expensive for you, why not ask your pharmacist if there is an available generic drug equivalent that is most probably cheaper. It could also save you cash for future laboratory exams, checkups and other medications.

Remember, generic drugs are the same as their brand name counterparts.

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  1. I really wondered about this for the longest time, why companies make branded medication when the generic one is just as good... you've explained that well-enough. so it has something to do with the patent expiring. thanks for the info

  2. Thanks GraceMags. I am happy that I was able to somehow answer your question with this post.



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