In 2019, the United States spent a whopping $369.7 billion on prescription drugs alone. That signifies a 5.7% increase from the previous year’s prescription drug expenditures.
One reason for that immense spending is the ever-increasing price of branded drugs. Fortunately, many of these medicines are available in lower-cost generic form.
To that end, we came up with this guide comparing generic vs. name brand drugs and the myths surrounding them. Read on to discover the truth about them and their pros and cons.
Generic vs. Name Brand Drugs: The Technical Difference
Name-brand drugs are medications sold under specific names or trademarks. That’s why many people refer to them as brand-name or branded drugs. Their branding means they have patent protection, prohibiting other drugs from copying them.
However, patents don’t last forever; they often only run for 20 years from the application date. After this, the patent already expires except in cases of special extensions. However, once expired, other drug makers can already market and sell generic versions.
Therefore, generic drugs are medications based on an existing branded drug formula. So, they aren’t original per se, as they have to perform the same way the branded one they’re “copying” does. Therein lies the primary difference between the two.
The Real Pros and Cons of Name Brand Drugs
The biggest advantage of branded drugs is their long-standing proven efficacy. Otherwise, the Food and Drug Administration wouldn’t let them in the market in the first place. In addition, if they were dangerous, the FDA wouldn’t allow them to stay in the market.
As branded drugs have been in the market for so long, they also have an established reputation. That’s why they’re easier to recognize and remember.
It’s because of those pros that brand-name drugs are so expensive, though.
After all, according to some experts, the mean cost to get a new drug into the market is a whopping $985.3 million. What’s more, this estimate is only for the product research and development process. As such, the total mean investment for each new drug is approximately $1.3 billion.
The True Pros and Cons of Generic Drugs
One of the primary benefits of generic drugs is that they can cost at least 30% less than the proprietary drug. However, this can more than double, depending on the number of existing competitors. For example, if there are at least six other similar drugs, generics can cost up to 95% less than brand-name ones.
If you want to save money while having the peace of mind that you are getting what you pay for, then you might want to join a prescription advocacy program. You can get drugs like trulicity delivered directly to your home. You will also have access to trulicity patient assistance.
That should be a good enough reason for you to find out more about generic drug alternatives.
Unfortunately, that huge price difference gave rise to myths about generic drug efficacy. For example, many people think that because they cost far less, they aren’t as effective.
That’s a myth, though, as generics work the same as their branded counterparts. For starters, the FDA checks them for the same clinical and safety benefits as the branded ones. So, if they don’t pass FDA’s rigorous tests, they won’t make it into the market.
Switch to Money-Saving Generics With Your Doc’s Approval
There you have it, your brief but concise guide comparing generic vs. name brand drugs. Now, you know that generics allow for more affordable prescriptions and OTC drugs. They’re also just as safe and effective as their branded counterparts.
However, you need to check in with your doctor first before making the switch. This way, your doctor can make sure you choose the right generic version.
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