The Difference between Generic and Brand Name Drugs

generic drug, generic prescription drugs, generic medicine, generic drugsThe American healthcare system is in crisis and the costs of getting medical treatment are becoming more and more expensive. So while the U.S. Government is still debating on and resolving the Obamacare issue, people should be more and more responsible in choosing their medicines. Educating people about the difference between generic and brand name drugs may help them save on medical costs.

What is the difference between generic and brand name drugs?

Medicine or Drug. This is a term used for a chemical compound that is used for the treatment of a medical condition. They are prescribed by doctors to help people regain their normal body functions. Medicines will also alleviate the manifestation of symptoms of a specific illness or disease.

Generic name. Each medicine or drug has an approved international name also known as the generic name. The generic drugs are universally accepted wherever part of the world you are in. Since large drug manufacturers cater their brand names to suit the culture of a country, generic names are used to lessen the confusion of what drugs to purchase. So if you are in a foreign country and need to refill your prescription, you can give the pharmacist the generic name of the medicine or ask for generic drugs that you need and you will be given a variety of brand names to choose from.

Brand name. Brand names or trade names are the names that drug manufacturers give their products. Some drug manufacturers choose brand names that are easier to recall, but are similar to the drug’s generic name. For example, the drug with the generic name paracetamol may have easier sounding brand names such as Calpol® or Panadol®. When it comes to the packaging of the medicine or drug, the brand name will often be seen in large print. This is a marketing technique so that consumers will have a better recall of their brand names. However, drug manufacturers are mandated by law to have the generic name of their medicine also written on their packages.

Writing prescriptions. When a doctor is writing a prescription, he or she is mandated by law to write the generic name of the drug. The doctor may or may not write the brand name of drug that he or she wishes the patient to use. If there are issues on the bioavailability of the drug being prescribed, the doctor will prescribe the brand name.

All in all, generic drugs are just the universal name of the medicine brands that people are used to. The myth that generic drugs are manufactured by substandard companies is false. As long as you properly follow the prescription of your doctor any medicine whether it is a generic drug or a brand name drug will help cure you.

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