Many people often hear the term "Generic" and think that a specific medication is somehow different from the brand name. The real truth is quite a bit more involved than that. Generic medications as a whole, tend not to vary too much from their brand name counterparts. The differences are present, but they are minimal at best.
Let's take a further look at what makes generic medications the same, and what makes them different:
First and foremost, generic manufacturing companies are not allowed to change the active ingredient in generic medications. This is a common misconception that "they're different". The truth is that the active ingredient is the exact same chemical make up as the brand name medication. The dosage is often offered at different levels, but that dosage would have the exact same effect on the body as the brand name medication at that same dosage.
Inactive ingredients in generic medication are permitted to be changed. In fact, in most cases, they are. The reason for this is due to trademark laws here in the US. Generic medications are not legally allowed to be the exact same size, shape, color, and stamped the same, as brand name medications. This means that your generic meds, while the same strength in milligram (mg), will not look the exact same. Inactive ingredients do not affect the strength or intensity of medication and consist of things like coloring dye, flavoring, and preservatives.
Generally speaking, Generic medications keep the same size and shape of medication, as well as its consistency. This means that a generic medication will usually look generally like the brand name. Some medications do vary though, to avoid legal repercussions. An example of this is Viagra. The normal size, shape, and consistency of this tablet is a blue hue, shaped like a diamond, and has a hard, chalky consistency like most pills. The generic version, Sildenafil Citrate Teva, has a white color to it, is shaped like an oval, and has a chalky consistency to it like the brand name does. A different generic Viagra called Greenstone has a white color to it, is shaped like a diamond, and has a chalky consistency to it as the brand name does. All three of these products, produce the EXACT same effect on the body, which has been measured by clinical testing.
This is a big one for most people for obvious reasons. Not everyone can afford thousands of dollars on medication a month. The major difference and one that leads to ill-informed rumors about efficacy is the price. The price of generic medications is usually vastly more affordable than their brand-name counterparts. This leads a lot of people to think that they are in some way or form, less effective than a brand name medication; this is a false notion. Generic medications are cheaper for a very specific reason: they do not have a massive entry-level cost. This allows them to offer the same exact treatment at a much more affordable price, allowing them to reach a larger demographic, and increasing overall profitability. It's nearly a win-win too, as customers will happily pay $5-$10 dollars per pill, then $100-$200 per pill for a brand name. So, why do brand name medications have such a high initial price? Let's take a look at the major reason in the next point.
When a medication is created, the company that is creating it must provide proof to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it is safe to take, and effective in treating the specific condition it was created for. This isn't as easy as a few clinical trials. This is a BILLION-DOLLAR process. You have to pay scientists, researchers, apply for permits and licenses, apply for a patent. We're talking YEARS of development. So, you've made your new medication, got it approved by the FDA, and have a 4-billion dollar debt you now owe to your investors. How do you not only make the initial cost of the medication back in profits but also make a real profit off this medication? You push the price through the roof.
Now, why are generics cheaper? They don't have that initial cost. All they do is wait until the patent expires, copy the end result formula, show the FDA that they copied it, and prove it's just as safe and effective, and boom, instant profit.
With these points in mind, it is important to know the difference between a generic, and a fake or a counterfeit. Often times, medication online will be marketed as generic, when in reality, they are fakes. The best way to ensure you always get something safe and FDA-approved is to buy only from real, licensed pharmacies. Here at EDrugstore, we contract through real, U.S. pharmacies to ship your medication to you, so the products you receive are the real deal.
Ordering online from places located outside the U.S. is as dangerous as a game of Russian Roulette, as the stuff coming from outside the U.S. can contain harmful ingredients that cause things like nerve damage, kidney failure, cancer, brain damage, and impotence. Steer clear of the dangerous stuff out there. Your health isn't worth saving a quick buck.