When you look to get your prescription filled at a pharmacy, you will most certainly be asked on whether you would like/prefer the generic brand. Today, lets talk a little bit about generic medicines so that you have a better understanding of what it is, so that you can make an informed choice.
A generic brand is just another brand of an existing medicine, which contains the same active ingredient.1
When the patent for an existing brand expires, other companies can manufacture and sell the same medicine. For example, Aspen developed Amoxil but after their patent expired, other companies, such as Sandoz can manufacture the same medicine, which they branded as Amoxycillin Sandoz. Both brands contain the same active ingredient, which is Amoxycillin 500mg as Amoxycillin trihydrate.
WHAT ARE THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL BRAND AND THE GENERIC BRAND?1
- Contains the same active ingredient
- Bio-equivalent i.e. both brands will lead to the same amount of active ingredient being absorbed by the body over the same period of time
- Same effectiveness and same side effects
- Generic medicines meet the same standards of quality, safety and effectiveness as the original brand.
Note: A generic prescription medicine is only allowed to be supplied in Australia if we the evidence shows that the generic medicine is bioequivalent to the original medicine
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL BRAND AND THE GENERIC BRAND?1
- Generic brands tend to be more affordable than the original brand
- Generic brands may taste or look different because the "inactive ingredients" that are used are normally different. Inactive ingredients serve certain functions, such as providing colour or taste but this does not affect the effectiveness of the medicine
At the end of the day, the choice is yours on whether you'd prefer the original or the generic brand. Thanks for reading and I hope this has helped you better understand generic medicines. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Created by Kw
Therapeutic Goods Administration. Generic prescription medicines: Fact sheet [Internet]. Therapeutic Goods Administration [updated 2014 Jan 20; cited 2017 Jan 29]. Available from: https://www.tga.gov.au/community-qa/generic-prescription-medicines-fact-sheet
Mediklik. Generic vs Original Brand [Image on Internet]. [2016 April 26; cited 2017 Jan 29]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1in6HIkbv24