What’s In A Name? Brand-Name Vs. Generic DrugsPosted June 3, 2019 by Mitch
Every day, we’re offered generic drugs versus brand-name drugs. We’re told they’re exactly the same, but that’s not entirely true.
Should you take generic drugs?
Is the cost savings worth it?
Is there a way to get brand-name medicines at low prices?
Let’s explore the differences between brand-name drugs and generic drugs:
The same active ingredient, but…
By law, generic drugs must contain the same active ingredient, use the same delivery method, etc. Interestingly, the FDA allows up to a 20% variation in the chemical composition in the active ingredient. While it’s usually less, any variation at all might change the effectiveness of the medicine for some people.
In one study in the October 2017 issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes researchers concluded that after the release of three different generic blood pressure medicines, incidents of side effects increased.
The place where the drugs tend to be less regulated is in the inactive ingredients. Fillers, preservatives, and more can be different. While this might not change the efficacy of the active ingredients, these other ingredients might have unplanned side effects.
Backed by research, lots of research
Brand-name medicines are backed by a lot of research. That’s a major reason why they’re more expensive. The drug company must first develop and manufacture the drug, then they need to test the drug, first on animals and later on humans. All of that testing is expensive. Since the drug companies are for-profit companies, they need to make back all of those expenses and still make a profit.
Generic manufacturers don’t need to do all of this testing. While they must prove that they’re producing the same (or mostly the same) active ingredients, there is no testing on the fillers or preservatives. Since many pharmaceuticals are a delicate, finely tuned balance to achieve effectiveness, it does give rise to questions about the efficacy of the overall formula.
Why you buy Starbucks
One of the things that humans are prone to is appreciating familiarity. Odds are that you drive past five places that make burgers to get to McDonalds. It’s even more likely that you drove past 10 places that sell coffee to get to Starbucks. There is a peace of mind in familiarity.
We have learned to trust those brands that we use, for good reason. They have served us well and delivered for years, sometimes generations.
The same applies to the brand-name pharmaceuticals. The big companies are big because they discover medicines that people need. Many have been providing great products and services for over 100 years. That trust can provide peace of mind to anyone who is taking a medication, particularly one that they aren’t familiar with.
Savings on Brand-Name Medicines
In many cases, people can get brand-name drugs for very low prices by using services like Prescription Hope to get access to patient assistance programs that have been set up by the drug manufacturers.
While the drug companies need to make money to pay for the development of new medicines, they understand that not everyone can afford to pay their regular price. Through their patient assistance programs, they are able to lower their drug prices to people whose income is below a certain level.
Saving money on prescription drugs has become a cause celebre for many politicians and others. They rarely truly discuss the differences in the formulas and the need to fund drug development.
Should you choose brand-name or generic?
Often, the choice is made by price. If the brand-name is $200 a prescription and the generic is $28, the decision is simple for most of us.
Using Patient Assistance Programs, the prices of brand-name drugs can be lowered significantly. For example, with Prescription Hope, that $200 brand-name prescription is only $50. You get the quality and peace of mind for much less. This can allow you to choose drugs that are made by the original drug manufacturer while still saving money.
Instead of needing to call each of the manufacturers of your medications separately, you can consider using a service like Prescription Hope that works directly with the manufacturers to get you a low price on your brand-name drugs while saving you an immense amount of time and money. Visit the enrollment page to create an account and fill out your application.