DO YOU EVER WONDER if a generic drug has the same effectiveness over a brand name when you’re trying to make a decision at the drugstore? The ingredients listed are exactly alike but the price difference is usually much less. If they’re both therapeutically equivalent, what gives?
In Canada, generic drugs must meet the same high standards and purity as brand name drugs. They are “bioequivalent,” a term that means that the same drug gets into the body and works the same way as the brand name drug. So, before a generic drug can be sold, its manufacturer must prove to Health Canada that it is as effective as the brand name. The generic manufacturer must also prove that the active ingredient dissolves at the same rate, is absorbed the same way, and is as pure as the brand name product. This has helped me when choosing allergy pills. I now buy a generic bottle that works equally as good as a well known brand with the same ingredients for considerably less money. Same goes for aspirin. Turns out that 40 to 60% of prescriptions in Canada are filled with a generic drug. Can you blame us?
A generic brand may look or taste slightly different from the brand name. While they have the same active ingredients, they may have different inactive ingredients such as flavours, colours, and fillers. Their manufacturers must prove that any differences in inactive ingredients don’t affect the product’s quality, safety or effectiveness.
Why does the generic drug have a different name:
Each drug has a specific active ingredient that makes it work. The active ingredient is referred to by the generic name. The generic name stays the same no matter which company makes the drug. The brand name is the name that a specific manufacturer gives to the product, and it can be used only by that manufacturer. When a brand name drug is no longer covered by patent protection, a generic manufacturer can make a generic alternative, but it can’t use the same brand name – it must choose a new brand name for its generic drug. This is the name that will appear on the generic label.
When filling your prescription, ask your pharmacist if there’s a generic alternative to your medication. You may find that you’re already receiving a generic drug and saving on the cost. Ask questions – this is one prescription for happiness.
Taken from: The Wellness Connection