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Generic drugs - Top 10 myths

Please find below the truth about some of the most common myths surrounding the use, safety and quality of generic drugs.

 

 

 

1. MOST PEOPLE CHOOSE BRAND DRUGS BECAUSE THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE GETTING

False! Please bear in mind that since 2009 in the US, over 85% of all prescriptions were filled by generic drugs and a large number of the worlds top selling drugs are generic. In fact the generic drug market is continuing to grow faster than the brand name drug market - mainly because people are looking for cheaper medications and health care bills.

2. GENERIC DRUGS MUST PASS THE SAME QUALITY CONTROL AND TESTS AS BRAND-NAME MEDICATIONS.

True! Just like brand-name drugs, generic drugs must be approved by the FDA, the government agency that checks the quality and safety of all food and drugs sold in the U.S. The FDA inspects generic drug makers to make sure their plants meet the same quality standards as brand-name drug makers. Many generic drugs are made in the same plants as the brand name drug products. Generics supplied from outside the US and monitored and compliant with the relevant World Health Organisation (WHO) and good manufacturing guidelines (GMP).

3. BRAND DRUGS ARE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN GENERICS BECAUSE THEY HAVE BETTER INGREDIENTS AND WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY.

False! Generic drugs are required to have the same active ingredient, dosage form, strength and method of administration as the brand name drug. Generic drugs do not need to contain the same inactive ingredients as the brand product. Any generic drug copied from a single, brand name drug must perform approximately the same in the body as the brand name drug. As in all types of drugs, there will always be a small, but not medically important, level of natural variability – for example from one batch of brand drugs to the next.

Through the review of bio-equivalence data, the FDA ensures that the generic product will perform the same as the equivalent brand name drug. This standard applies to all generic drugs, whether controlled or immediate release.

Generic drugs shall always be cheaper than the equivalent brand version, since generic drug companies do not have significant expenses to recoup in terms of research, development, advertising and promotion.

4. MY DOCTOR GAVE ME A PRESCRIPTION FOR A BRAND-NAME DRUG AND DID NOT MENTION A GENERIC EQUIVALENT.  HE MUST THINK THAT A GENERIC DRUG WOULD NOT WORK FOR ME.

False! Doctors know that generic drugs are just as good as the brand-name drug, if they are available. If your doctor prescribes you a brand-name drug, you should ask them if the generic equivalent is also available. For most prescriptions (80% of brand drugs have a generic equivalent), there will be a generic drug that will be just as effective, but considerably cheaper. However, in some special cases, a brand-name version may be the only option. Please ask your doctor if a generic drug is right for you and available.

5. GENERIC DRUGS ARE PROBABLY IN MY MEDICINE CABINET RIGHT NOW.

True! Approximately 85% of all drugs prescribed are generic. Generic drugs are available for almost every health problem including cancer, asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart conditions, lung conditions etc.

Most people who have been prescribed medication will have taken the generic version instead of the brand even if they didn‘t realise it.

Generics are so common, that many healthcare professionals do not even know the brand name of the drugs being prescribed!

6. I WANT THE BEST MEDICATIONS MONEY CAN BUY. IF IT’S MORE EXPENSIVE, IT MUST BE BETTER.

False! Brand name drugs and generic drugs work exactly the same. You may receive a better product if you buy an expensive car or electrical item, however when you buy a generic drug you’re getting exactly the same medicine and effect that you‘d get from the more expensive brand-name drug.

7. NEWER, BRAND-NAME DRUGS WILL BE BETTER THAN OLDER, GENERIC DRUGS.

False! Studies have shown that some older, generic drugs are often safer than newer, brand-name drugs because more studies have been undertaken to help understand their effectiveness, risks and side effects. Doctors and hospitals have gained alot more experience using them and millions of people around the world have safely taken them.

Less is known about newer brand-name drugs because they haven’t been around as long. Most of the drugs that have been removed from the market or had new warnings added to their labels because of safety problems were recent drugs that had no generic equivalent – for example Vioxx.

8. GENERIC DRUGS FROM OVERSEAS ARE NOT AS SAFE AS THOSE FROM THE U.S. OR CANADA

False! The manufacturing of generic drugs must comply with the same strict manufacturing guidelines and testing as their branded versions. All drugs sold via World Trust Phamacy have been sourced from some of the world top generic drug manufacturers around the world and comply with each countries legislation as per the World Health Organisation and FDA equivalent approval.

The only difference between a generic drug being manufactured in the U.S. or Canada compared to in Asia or Western Europe will be its much higher price due to higher wages, manufacturing costs etc.  India now has the most number of FDA approved pharmaceutical manufacturing sites (nearly 200) outside the U.S.

9. GENERIC DRUGS CAUSE MORE ALLERGIC REACTIONS AND SIDE EFFECTS THAN BRAND-NAME DRUGS.

False! There is no proof that generic drugs cause more allergies or side effects than brand-name drugs. A few people might see side effects when changing between drugs, but this does not occur more with generic drugs.

10. MY DOCTOR WANTS ME TO TAKE GENERIC DRUGS JUST SO THEY CAN SAVE MONEY.

False! Your doctor and local pharmacist want you to get medicine that is safe, effective and affordable. For most prescriptions, generics are the best option when you compare price and quality. That is why approximately three quarters of all U.S. prescriptions are for generic drugs.

For more information about Generic Drugs please visit our Generic Drug Information Center.


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