Generic drugs, or generics, are considered as a category of medication which were manufactured and sold without patent or brand name. These pills are essentially equivalent to their branded counterparts. It is said that generics are identical to branded drugs in composition, efficiency, safety, dosage and manner of use. The main difference of generics from branded is the fact that generics cost less. To tell the truth, generic pills, as well as those which were checked by the Food and Drug Administration, cost 70% cheaper on average. It was estimated by the US Congressional Budget office that annual savings caused by generic drugs range from eight to ten billion dollars.
Branded drugs enjoy security from patents. Patenting a product means that you are the known innovator of the medication. This allows for the company to earn back their cost incurred from research and development of the medication since they are given exclusive rights to manufacture, market and sell such medication. However, patents only apply for limited amount of 20 years; thus giving an opportunity for other companies to sell generic versions of that branded pill. They are able to sell them at a cheaper price due to two reasons: 1. they did not spend for the research and patent fees for the medication; and 2. is because of competition. Since there are more manufacturers selling the same drug, they aim to offer the lowest price possible.
One of the biggest concerns about generic pills is safety. This is an understandable concern especially for generics manufactured outside of FDA guideline. Other than that, those that did pass FDA regulations are the same as their branded counterparts because the FDA only approves them if they have the same composition, dosage, quality, etc. Sometimes, they may look different but the fact is, they are just the same.
In the United States, about half of all prescriptions today are for generic medication. This significant increase is caused by the number of patients urging their doctors to prescribe them generic medication instead of branded ones. In 2008, global sales of generic drugs were up by 170% since 2003 with 42% of these sales coming from the United States. This boost in popularity is generally credited to the cheap cost of generics.
Moreover, generic drugs are offered even cheaper through online pharmacies. These online pharmacies would usually sell generic pills made from other countries such as India and are considered as a great opportunity to save money. However, not all online pharmacies are the same and there are those who try to get profit through deceitful means. This is why constant care is needed when purchasing from such sites. In order to find which online pharmacies are safe to purchase from, it is ideal to visit online pharmacy review sites first. From there, consumers can learn from the experiences of other people from certain pharmacies. At the same time, some of these review sites show a record of top notch online pharmacies as well. Saving money need not come with a big, so read first before buying.