Generic drugs are commonly prescribed by physicians and encouraged by pharmacists. But, do you ever worry that a generic drug might not work as well as a similar brand name drug?
Our minds are powerful and we often associate brand name drugs as being more effective than generic drugs. The word generic sometimes creates an idea that something is less effective with inferior quality.
Scientists and physicians claim that this idea leads to the “placebo effect” in which some people feel better simply because they believe that a drug works better even if it has the same components as an alternative drug.
The “placebo effect” gives us an insight into the unique relationship of mind and body. The link is in our mind’s expectations. If a person expects a pill to do something, or not do something, sometimes our body can be tricked into acting in a particular manner.
The alternatives become confusing because you want the lowest cost alternative, but the best, most effective, medicine for your health.
Here are 4 facts that you should know when considering generic drugs and brand name drugs.
Same quality and standards.
The FDA approves all generic drugs to have the same high quality, strength, purity and potency as brand name drugs. The generic manufacturing, packaging, and testing sites must pass the same quality standards as brand name drugs. (FDA)
Same active ingredients.
The FDA requires generic drugs to have the same active ingredient as brand name drugs, but the same inactive ingredients are not required (FDA). An inactive ingredient might be, for example, an ingredient for the color that doesn’t affect health.
FDA tests to assure effectiveness.
The generic drug manufacturer must prove its drug is the same (bioequivalent) as the brand name drug. For example, after trial-patients take the generic drug, regulators measure the amount of drug in the bloodstream. The FDA ensures that the generic drug levels are the same as when the brand name drug and confirms that the generic drug performs the same as its similar brand name drug. (FDA)
Same specifications and manufacturing plants.
The generic drug is required to meet the same exacting specifications as any brand name product. It may be surprising to know that many generic drugs are made in the same manufacturing plants as brand name drugs. (FDA)
So the good news is you don’t have to sacrifice value for effectiveness because regardless of name or appearance, a generic drug is regulated and has the same medicinal effect.