What's the difference between a brand-name drug and a generic drug?

The main difference between a generic drug and a brand name drug is price: A generic drug is usually much cheaper.

A generic drug is a copy of a brand-name drug, with the same ingredients, safety profile and method of administration (the way it's taken -- swallowed in pill or capsule form, for example, or injected into a vein). But a generic drug can only be made when the patent on the brand name drug expires. The generic version can be sold for less because its manufacturer did not have to pay for the costs of research and development, advertising, marketing and promotion of the original product.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.