Brand vs. Generic Medications

Published on: 24/02/2022

Generic versus branded medicines - which of the two is more effective?

According to studies, both have the same major chemical ingredient that makes them both effective for curing diseases.

Medicines are produced to treat diseases and illnesses as well as improve the general health of a person.

After your medical appointment, your primary care doctor will give you the prescription and how you should use the medicine.

But didn’t you know that you can choose between branded and generic medicine?

Regardless of being prescribed by the physician or just an over-the-counter medicine, you can decide whether to buy branded medicines or their generic versions which are significantly cheaper.

How do branded and generic medicines differ based on safety, effectiveness, and quality?

Branded Medicines

Branded medicines are described as medicines that are manufactured by any pharmaceutical company. These companies undergo a series of extensive research & development, and clinical trials to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the medicine before making it available in the market through mass production. These branded medicines have unique features and newly discovered active ingredients that only the manufacturer knows and keeps confidential. Pharmaceutical companies register it with chemical patents for the exclusivity of the production. The patent will allow the company to mass-produce the drug and eventually sell it until they can recover from their expenses and make a profit. The registration of patents for branded medicine can last for several years. By having a patent, the pharmaceutical company is protected and no other company can reproduce the drug with the same active ingredient.

Generic Medicines

Generic medicines, on the other hand, are replicas of branded medicines. This means that the dosage, chemical content, safety, quality, and entire characteristics of a branded medicine are the same as of the generic medicine.

The difference between branded and generic drugs is in the circumstances of how the drugs are produced. The production of generic medicines can only happen once the chemical patents for branded medicines expire. Once the patent of a pharmaceutical company expires, the active ingredient used to produce the branded medicine can now be used by other companies to produce an exact medicine bearing the active ingredient.

Some patients perceive that generic drugs are inferior to branded drugs. But, in terms of effectiveness, generic drugs have the same quality of active ingredient, dosage, chemical content, safety, quality, and entire characteristics as branded medicines.

The Comparison:

  1. Quality – Both medicines have similar chemical content, thus, both are effective in treating the disease.
  2. Effectiveness – Both are effective because both offer the same quality, both have the same active ingredient and both have the same dosage.
  3. Safe – Yes, both medicines are safe since they contain the same active ingredients though the look, color, shape, and taste are different for branding reasons.
  4. Price – Generally, branded medicines are expensive because these medicines are patented and manufactured by big pharmaceutical companies. They spent money on research and patents and the only way to profit is to offer a higher price in the market. On the other hand, generic medicines are not very expensive. Companies manufacturing generic medicines have not invested in research and patents, thus, the cost of the production is minimal as compared to branded medicines.

What should you choose then: branded or generic medicine?

It’s up to you. In many cases, branded medicines may be the better option. But if you don’t have enough resources for branded medicines, then generic medicines will do as they are also made to work the same as branded medicines. They have the same active ingredient and are pretty much similar in terms of dosage forms, strength, quality, and methods of administration. Allergies are also a big consideration in choosing what medicine to use. You can seek medical advice since content for generic and branded medicines may contain ingredients that will trigger your allergies.