The world of pharmaceuticals work on much more complicacies than what appears to the commoners. The biggest tussle in this world is between the urge of retaining patency of branded drugs and craving for the same’s expiry by the generics’ manufacturers. So what exactly are these two broad classes of branded and generic medicines, all about? Let us understand them individually and have a comparitive study.
What is a Branded medicine?
When a pharma manufacturing company discovers a new drug, the company applies for patency to prohibit other companies from copying or manufacturing and selling the same.
This patency may last up to twenty years; during which the company produces and sells the drug under a brand name to make up its investment and earn a huge lump sum profit via its monopoly on the medicine, by keeping its price high. Eventually the brand name becomes synonymous with the drug, and such a medicine is referred to as a Branded Medicine.
Did you know?
Weefsel Pharma is a leading Ivermectin tablets manufacturer and exporter in India.
What is a Generic drug?
Once the patency of a branded medicine expires, other pharmaceutical manufacturing companies get to deal in the same. Thus, with the end of monopoly and advent of competitive pharma companies, the price of the medicine falls much low, without any compromise on its content or quality. This is what is known as a Generic Medicine or drug. The competitive price is the same reason why generic drug manufacturers are allowed to make more essential drugs, making them available and affordable to the people who need them.
Generic drugs are cheaper since the costs of production do not include the cost of development and marketing for the brand name drugs. Usually, new drugs’ prices will consider the cost of research, patency, development, marketing, and promotion. But none of these costs are involved in generic drugs. This is why the law allows the brand name company to recoup its investment before allowing generic drug manufacturers to produce and sell the same drug.
The very reason that generic drugs are allowed to bring down costs, makes it easy for the manufacturers to make the drugs available to more people at affordable prices.
Did you know?
Weefsel Pharma is a popular Generic Pharma Medicine Manufacturer and Exporter in India.
Likeness or Similarities between Generic and Branded Medicines
As per the norms of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the generic drugs must be as effective as their branded counterparts. According to the FDA, drug makers must prove that generic medications can be substituted for brand-name drugs and offer the same benefits as their brand-name counterparts.
- Althoug the names looks might differ slightly, the generic and branded drugs work the same way.
- The generic medicines have the same active ingredients as that of the branded ones.
- The generic medicines pass through the same manufacturing and packaging standards as that of the branded ones.
Other parameters on which the generics must be as same as the branded ones are:
- Route of administration
Let’s understand with an example. The amphetamine salt combo is the generic version of Adderall, a medication used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Both prescription drugs are available in the same strengths, prescribed in the same quantities, and have the same instructions for how to take them. The same is in the case of metformin, which is the generic version of Glucophage, that is used to treat Type 2 Diabetes.
Did you know?
Weefsel Pharma is a Leading Anti-Diabetic Medicines Manufactuter and Supplier in India.
Difference between Generic and Branded Medicines
- The difference between any branded and its generic version lies in the circumstances of their respective production aspects.
- While brand name drug refers to the name given by the producing company, generic drug refers to a drug produced after the active ingredient of the brand name drug. Generic drugs, on the other hand, may be sold under different brand names, but must contain the same active ingredients as the branded drug.
- So far the effectiveness is concerned, the generic drugs must match upto the branded ones; apart from complying with the other strict directives and supervision of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and equivalent institutions in other countries.
- For branding purposes, generic drugs are not exactly the same in look, color, tastes and shape as the brand name drugs and must have its unique brand name. Hence the use of different inactive ingredients that make the generics look slightly different from their branded counterparts.
- Cost is the main difference between generic and brand name prescription drugs. Generics are about 20% to 85% cheaper than the brand name drugs. Unlike brand companies, generic manufacturers compete directly on price, resulting in lower prices for consumers. The cash price and insurance co-pay is typically lower. It is meant to be because generic drugs companies do not bear the same investment costs as the brand name company.
- Different manufacturers produce generic drugs, and you will receive your type of drug depending on which manufacturer your drug store uses.
- In a brand name and generic drugs relationship, the difference is the inactive ingredient contained in the drugs. Since what the FDA is particular about is the active ingredients, generic and brand name drugs’ inactive ingredients are different. This is why it is important have a closer look at the ingredients’ list on the drug label to see if there is any ingredient not good for you.
These areas of differences are noticeable between brand name and generic drugs and among generic drugs as well. It means you will get different drugs names with the same active ingredients, and this active ingredient is what refers to the generic drug.
Interesting fact: Weefsel Pharma is a leading manufacturer of the following medicines
- Duloxetine tablets
- Modafinil tablets
- Gabapentin capsules
- Pirfenidone tablets
- Carisoprodol tablets
- Tadalafil tablets/ oral jelly
Why do generic and branded drugs differ in the subtle parameters of colors and flavors?
Trade laws forbid generic drugs to look exactly like the brand-name drugs but must all have the same active ingredients for the same medicinal effects.
These differences often come from non-active ingredients used such as the dyes, fillers, and preservatives, which help to determine the size, shape and color.
This is the reason why patients are advised to follow doctor’s prescription because your doctor is able to match your history and some inactive ingredients in a particular generic drug that may cause adverse reaction in your body, whereas the branded or some other generic version of the same drug might not.
How to be sure of the right drug?
In case you are prescribed for a brand name but permitted to have generic substitution, then watch out for the active ingredient mentioned in the label of the branded drug, as it is, despite the differences between brand name and generic drugs, the active ingredients are always the same, and with the same effect.
The law requires drug manufacturers to list active and inactive ingredients of a drug on its label. While drugs may have different brand names, the generic name describes the active ingredient of the drug and this is a way to identify the type of drug. The same active ingredient will have different brand names in different countries. The law also demands that all active drugs must have the same active content and quality.
However, taking a doctor advise is strongly recommended. You are not supposed to assume a drug is the same just by looking; it takes an in-depth understanding of active ingredient composition to decide.