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Generics vs. Branded drugs: Is it the Devil vs the Deep Blue sea?

Generics are generic medications that are sold without patent or brand name. Generics are plentiful in number and are cheaper than branded drugs. They are far more cheaper in online pharmacies as the pharmacies try to offer generics at the best possible prices. Though generic drugs have so many pluses, they have a few minuses too – they are not patented and hence the safety or reliability of generic medications are often questioned.

Generic Medications:
Generic pills or generics are equivalent to branded drugs. In fact, they are identical with brands in everything – from composition, dosage and efficiency to safety and manner of use. Only difference between generics and branded drugs is cost. Generics are cheaper than branded drugs. A study by the FDA proves this fact. The study says that generics are 70% cheaper than branded drugs on an average level. Senator Charles Schumer, who conducted a study a few years ago in the New York belt found out that up to $10 billion can be saved if people use generics instead of branded drugs. Then, what is holding us back, you may ask. Answer: Patents of branded drugs.

Brand-name medications: Brand-name medications are very expensive compared to generics. This is especially true with OTC or Over the Counter drugs – drugs prescribed for general and common illnesses like fever, cold, cough, dysentery etc. Branded drugs are priced high for a reason: companies invest all their money into research and development of new drugs. When a company launches a pill or medication, it spends money on advertising and marketing too. Added to this, a brand spends on patenting the product also. The money spent on all these things are passed on to the medication’s cost. So, if Celerex (a popular medication for arthritis) costs more than what people can afford, it means the cost of the medication includes the costs incurred by the manufacturer for the production and promotion of the drug.

Is it a Devil vs. Deep Blue Sea situation? Absolutely not. Generics are as safe as the brand-name drugs if they are approved by the FDA. They are cheaper in online pharmacies than in local pharmacies. And generic drugs are definitely a better option if you have to be on prescription medications for a long period. The ‘Deep Blue Sea’ analogy can be attributed to brand-name drugs, but generics cannot be compared to the ‘Devil’. But you need to look for authentic generic drugs before you purchase them online. You can probably consult with your doctor on which generic medication to take up for your condition.

Ways in which brands play with patents: Brands play games with their patent rights. A patented product cannot be reproduced or copied before the end of patent rights and a patent normally lasts only for 20 years or so. Brands try to play with patent rights by patenting every other process of their R & D. This extends a drug’s patent rights for about 25 to 30 years, preventing generic drug manufacturers to produce copies of the branded drug. Also, companies do everything in  their capacity to put generic drugs out of public reach.

Online pharmacies and generic drugs:
Generic drugs are hot favorites among customers in the United States. Most of the generics are bought online, thanks to the lower prices offered by online pharmacies. Though brands take measures to curb the growth of generics, many Americans are increasingly becoming aware of the benefits of taking generic medications and are switching over to it. It has been observed that in the year 2008, global sales of generic drugs were up by 170% since 2003. Of the 170%, about 42% of the sales were from the United States.

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Generics vs. Branded drugs: Is it the Devil vs the Deep Blue sea?

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