Advertisement

Are generic drugs identical to their brand name versions?

Randolph P. Martin, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
By law, generic brands must have the same quality, purity, side effects, and ethicacy as the brand name drug. Watch this video to learn more from Dr. Randy P. Martin on comparing generic drugs to brand name versions.

 
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
When a drug's patent life is over (commonly 20 years after discovery, and six to eight years after it has been on the market), other companies can sell it. They can't sell it under the original brand name, but they can create generic forms of the drug that contain the same exact active ingredient. This usually cuts the drug's price to just a bit over what it costs to manufacture it. So get the cheaper generic version whenever one is available.

Generic drugs are well tested and usually just as effective as the original brand name drugs, as they're often identical in formulation. However, sometimes different fillers, coatings, or other non-active ingredients are used in generic drugs than were used in the brand names. In certain cases—especially if these differing non-active ingredients may change the rate of the drug's absorption or some other factor—this may lead some physicians to believe that a generic drug does not work just as effectively in certain or all patients as the brand-name version.
YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment

More About this Book

YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment

Everyone needs to become a smart patient. In fact, in the worst cases, your life may even depend on it. Number one bestselling authors and doctors Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz have written this...

Continue Learning about Patient Education

News: FDA Warns Online Drug Buyers About Fake Letter Scam
News: FDA Warns Online Drug Buyers About Fake Letter Scam
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers about fraudulent letters sent to people who have purchased medicines online or over t...
Read More
What are inhaled steroids?
Lawrence T. Chiaramonte, MDLawrence T. Chiaramonte, MD
Inhaled steroids -- Flovent, Pulmicort, and Aerobid -- are the best weapons we have to counter the s...
More Answers
What are the pros and cons of prescription drugs?
Julie Holland, MDJulie Holland, MD
Watch as psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist Dr. Julie Holland discusses the pros and cons of ...
More Answers
How Is Sharecare Different?
How Is Sharecare Different?

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.