What Are Generic Drugs
Generic drugs are copies of brand name drugs. Generic drugs contain the same active pharmaceutical ingredients as their brand name counterparts. When a new drug is developed, it is given a name that indicates its chemical make-up. This is called its ‘generic’ or ‘chemical’ name.
The new drug is also given a brand name for marketing purposes, which is usually easier to say and remember. Patients and doctors come to know the new drug by this brand name and initially prescriptions are written using the brand name.
After the patent on a brand name drug has expired, generic drugs are allowed to be manufactured and sold. Generic drugs are essentially copy products and are considered therapeutically equivalent to original brand products. Because they contain the same active pharmaceutical ingredients, equivalent brand name and generic drugs have the same chemical names.
Safety & Quality of Generic Pharmaceuticals
The approval process for generic drugs is rigorous in all countries Value Pharmaceuticals suppliers source their products from. A company that manufactures generic drugs needs to prove that they are as effective and safe as their brand name counterparts. The company must show that their generic pharmaceuticals have the same effect in the body and are manufactured to the same high standards before they can be registered and sold to patients.
All generic drugs available through Value Pharmaceuticals are of the highest quality. These products are either sourced from manufacturing facilities that have been approved by one or more of the following respected international regulatory bodies; Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USA; Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), UK; Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australia; Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention (PIC), Germany; World Health Organization (WHO) or are sourced from developed western countries (Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand) where they have complied with strict international regulatory approval process.
Why Are Generic Drugs Cheaper
Generic pharmaceuticals are usually less expensive than their brand name counterparts. This is because generic drugs are essentially ‘copies’ of the original brand name product and there is therefore no investment required in discovering them and significantly less investment required in developing them.
Generic drugs save US consumers an estimated $80 to $140 billion a year. IMS Health released a study in July 2010 which showed the use of generic versions of brand named drugs saved the U.S.A. health care system more than $824 billion over the past 10 years ($139 billion in 2009 on it own). These savings demonstrate that consumers can make large savings when they order generic products online and this level of use also shows the widespread acceptance of generic drugs as discount drug alternatives to brand named medicines.
Switching to Generics Drugs
Many brand name drugs have equivalent generic drugs available. IMS in the U.S. has reported that use of generic products, including branded generics, continued to rise in 2009 and now represent 75 percent of all dispensed prescriptions in the U.S., up from 57 percent in 2004. The total number of generic prescriptions dispensed increased 5.9 percent in 2009, while the number of branded prescriptions dispensed declined 7.6 percent. These generic pharmaceuticals will not only be supplied on generic prescriptions. This is because in the U.S., most states allow pharmacists to substitute generic drugs on prescriptions with the doctor’s approval even though a brand name product may have initially been prescribed. Usually this is only done when the Doctor approves it.
If after seeking your doctor’s approval you decide to purchase generic drugs through Value Pharmaceuticals, you can expect to receive the same clinical effect as with their brand name counterparts, but for a considerably reduced cost!
However, there are a small number of brand name drugs with which great care should be taken when substituting generic pharmaceuticals. These are drugs that have what is termed a ‘narrow therapeutic index’. This means that for these drugs a small variation in dose can cause problems, such as too little effectiveness or too many side effects. In these few cases, a patient should only switch after consulting with their doctor and then do so only with his or her approval and close supervision. If you are unsure about the brand name drug you are considering switching to a generic then we recommend you discuss this with your doctor before placing your order.