Generic Drugs 101

Generic Drugs 101

Feb 12, 2015 03:54 PM EDT - Author: Adrienne

By now we’ve all either heard about generic medications or even taken a few ourselves.  Generic drugs are developed after a “brand-name” drug’s patent expires.  At that time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires the same kind of in-depth research as the initial brand-name drug.  Even though a “brand-name” medication and its generic version have different names, they are in fact the same medication. This is verified through very in depth scientific research.  
When you a fill your prescription and end up paying less than you expected, check and see if you’ve received a generic medication.  For some people, requesting the generic version of a medication they’re prescribed can mean saving a lot of money.  Controlling costs associated with prescription medications is the main benefit of the development of generic drugs.  
You may be wondering why generic medications are cheaper than their brand-name counterparts.  Original research has already been conducted for the “brand name” drug, about 10-15 years’ worth, yet more research is required by the FDA to approve a generic drug.   However, when it is all said and done there is a smaller amount of time needed to conduct research on a generic medication and thus costs the company less to get approved compared to a designer drug.  It is the theory that these cost saving benefits are then passed down to the people like you and me who fill generic prescriptions.
How do you know if there is a generic version of your current prescription medications?  Glad you asked!  The FDA developed a website to let you search for generic versions of brand name medications.  
Interested in helping to make medications cheaper for all of us?  Join a clinical study testing a generic (also sometimes called “biosimilar”) medication.  Not only are you contributing to the greater good but you could also earn some extra spending money and other benefits from participating in a clinical trial. 



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