Generic Drugs Guide
How generic impotence drugs work, are they safe and effective and where to buy best generics
What are generic drugs?
In the past few years we have been hearing about generic drugs more and more often – TV debates, articles, and many websites touch on the topic, yet many people are still unsure what generic drugs are and what makes them different.
The first (and the most common) misconception is that generic drugs are knock-offs; this is entirely wrong – generic drugs are almost identical to the brand name drugs; they have the same ingredients and they are as effective and as safe.
The main difference is that the generic drugs are sold without a patent on the active ingredients. And this is what confuses most people – a patent is simply a document that protects the rights of an inventor; if medication has a patent or not does not make it any safer or more effective than another one, distributed without a patent.
In many cases the generic drugs can be sold on the market only after the patent for the brand medication has expired or becomes invalid. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) puts these drugs to the same strict regulations as the brand name drugs – they must be FDA approved and if the drug manufacturer operates in the US their facilities are inspected by the FDA as well.
At the end this means one thing – the generic drugs are sold only if they meet the strict US Food and Drug Administration standards!
The generic drugs, of course, are not sold exclusively in the US, but in most countries they must have a proven bioequivalence to the brand name drug – this means that they don’t have to have exactly the same ingredients, but from a pharmaceutical point of view they should be the same as the brand name drugs.
Well, what is the difference then?
Why should one buy generic drugs if he or she can simply go for the well-known and trusted brand name?
The main difference is the price tag – obtaining a patent is a long procedure and research and massive marketing campaigns cost money, and this makes brand medication in most cases way more expensive than the generic drugs. This is mainly due to the fact that once the patent for the original, brand name medication has expired the competition amongst the (now more than one) drug manufacturers increases, which usually brings the price down. The end result – entire countries, who didn’t import the brand name drugs due to the out of reach price, now could start selling live-saving pills that their citizens can afford.
Why are some people still skeptical when hearing about generic drugs?
The answer is simple – they are misinformed: unlike other industries where you really get what you pay for, the generic drugs are simply as good as their brand-name counterparts, they are sold in the pharmacies and in fact most of the pills that we buy today are generic drugs, and one little known fact is that most of them are manufactured by well-known, brand name companies.
Are generic drugs safer?
Since they are bio-identical to the brand name medications they will be as safe as them; this in turn means that the same side effects can be expected since the pharmaceutical effect is also the same.
However, what makes them safer is the fact that their brand name counterpart has been on the market for a few years and these years are usually the period when some drugs are recalled if they are found to have unexpected and severe side effects.
Many people confuse generic drugs with herbal medication – in most countries herbal medication is not subjected to the same strict tests as the pharmaceutical drugs, which has raised some safety concerns in recent years.
Currently in the US herbal medication is being sold as dietary supplements and as such their efficiency and safety does not have to be demonstrated by their manufacturers. The generic drugs, as already mentioned, are subject to FDA approval.
Two relatively recent changes in the US legislation, the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984 and the Generic Initiative for Value and Efficiency, launched in 27, aim to streamline the generic drugs approval process, which in turn should increase their production. This will result in huge savings and medication that is much more affordable.
However, just how much cheaper are the generic drugs?
In many cases they are anywhere from 3% to 8% cheaper and while for the average person this means just a few hundred dollars less in a year, in some countries this simply means thousands of saved lives.
In 1984 the generic drugs were believed to had 18% share of the market, while today’s numbers are somewhere between 54% and 63% according to different studies.
Next time you visit your doctor or the local pharmacy, looking for a brand name drugs that you want to purchase make sure that you ask for a generic drug alternative – it is as good, as safe, as efficient, and in most cases much cheaper!