80 percent of the drugs on the market are generics. That is an inexpensive copy of the original drug developed by scientists. How to choose the product that will help? Why drugs with the same composition have different prices? Is it true that only expensive medications are effective? What generics are most popular today? You will find the answers to the most popular questions in this article.
Generic Drugs: Answers to Common Questions
1. What is a generic?
Generic is a cheaper analogue of the original (brand) medicine.
2. Do generics act in the same way as the original drug?
Yes, generics have the same healing properties, because they contain the same active ingredients as the original. There is a downside: the side effects of generics and the brand also coincide. The right of generics to the existence is proven and tested by time. People buy generics much more often than the original drugs, even in wealthy countries, like Sweden and the United States.
3. Are originals produced with more modern equipment?
No. Generic, like the original, is an officially approved medicine that is produced according to all technological and hygienic standards. The release of generics is actively engaged in all countries of the world. This is a separate area of the pharmaceutical industry.
4. Why generic drugs are cheaper?
Companies spend about 15 years developing a new, original drug, and research goes in many directions at once. Unfortunately, up to 90% of projects – potential new products – are ineffective at the “finish” and do not enter the market, therefore, millions of dollars fly away for nothing. These costs have to be recouped by increasing the selling price of a single drug, which turned out to be successful. Firms producing generics do not incur collateral costs, their task is to repeat what was developed before them. That is why generic drugs are cheaper. Original medications rarely come first In the list of best-selling drugs.
5. Do generic drugs actually duplicate the original ones?
If we consider the chemical composition of both, it turns out that in fact, they are not duplicates: the “treatment core” is common, the accompanying impurities are different. Impurities have no effect on the treatment process. After the expiration of the patent protection, the original company sells only the semi-finished product of its brand to other manufacturers. But it does not reveal the secrets of manufacturing. While manufacturers suffer, bringing the semi-finished product to the mind, only original medicine continues to be sold in pharmacies. As soon as manufacturers managed to create analogs, generic drugs appear on the pharmacy shelves.
6. Does every brand-name drug have a generic counterpart?
Almost yes. The exception is unique drugs for treating cancer and AIDS, where any optional ingredient matters.
What are the bestselling generic drugs?
According to Sky Pharmacy, the most popular generic drugs are counterparts of Viagra, Advair, Ventolin, Amoxicillin.
- Generic Viagra (Sildenafil) is an effective medicine for the treatment of impotence and erectile dysfunction. The main active ingredient of the drug is sildenafil, which inhibits the action of the enzyme phosphodiesterase type 5. After taking Viagra, the blood vessels of the penis expand, which ensures a normal erection, sufficient for sexual intercourse and its completion;
- Generic Advair (Fluticasone Propionate / Salmeterol) is an anti-asthma combination drug. The product effectively prevents the development of bronchospasm induced by histamine, has a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect on the lungs. Fluticasone reduces the severity of symptoms of exacerbation of asthma without undesirable side effects characteristic of systemic glucocorticosteroids. The use of this complex drug allows asthmatics to achieve “good control” and “full control” of asthma symptoms and improves the quality of life in patients with asthma;
- Generic Ventolin (Albuterol) is used to relieve and prevent attacks of bronchospasm, as well as a component in the combined treatment of bronchial asthma and asthmatic status. With the preventive purpose, Ventolin is used before direct contact of the patient with an allergen or before considerable physical exertion. Ventolin is designed to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is associated with reversible bronchial obstruction;
- Generic Amoxicillin is one of the most bestselling and effective antibacterial drugs (penicillins) belonging to semi-synthetic antibiotics. The drug has a wide range of activity, destroys germs by acting on the walls of their cells. Amoxicillin is effective against many microorganisms: gram-positive and gram-negative cocci, some gram-negative rods. The drug is prescribed for infections caused by microbial strains that are sensitive to this antibiotic.