What You Should Know About Generic Drugs

It’s a well known fact that many prescription medicines in America are expensive. Many people have ventured out in search of alternatives and now almost 50 percent of all prescription drugs have a generic equivalent available at a fraction of the cost. So what’s the problem you ask?

Many people shy away when they hear the word, “generic”. Let’s face it, usually when speaking in general a generic product, usually isn’t as good as a name brand but that’s not true when it comes to prescriptions. One example of popular over the counter drug, Tylenol is a common household pain reliever known to virtually every American in the country. Acetaminophen is usually the pain reliever that sits exactly beside Tylenol at your local market place. Both products are one in the same, only one is less expensive. Tylenol was the original maker of Acetaminophen, they named it Tylenol, they are the only company who can call it that but other manufacturers can make it, but they have to call it by the chemical name which is Acetaminophen.

First, let’s talk about what is a generic? A generic drug is the exact bioequivalent of a name brand. This means that the generic drug is just as strong, has the same quality, same characteristics and is intended for the same use as the name brand version. The only difference is a “brand name” is placed on the product by a pharmaceutical company for marketing purposes, in essence to promote the drug with a catchy name. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requires that generic manufacturers produce the exact bioequivalent to it’s name brand counterpart. Generic makers are actually able to offer drugs anywhere from 10-90 percent lower than the name brand because they aren’t spending money on development costs of a new drug. Generic makers are simply reproducing an existing drug without development or advertising costs involved.

Some people are thrown off because maybe a name brand drug and the bioequivalent generic, don’t look the same. They don’t have to “look” the same, they only have to “be” of the same chemical make-up.

However there are dangers involved when looking for places to buy generic drugs, the safest place to buy drugs is still your local pharmacy. Online pharmaceutical sites, you know the ones that give you a consultation with a “qualified” doctor…….most often the consulting doctor is overseas and has never practiced in America.Some of these online drug stores are even selling outdated drugs, imagine the effects of that.

One of the worst dangers are illegal manufacturers in different countries like India or Mexico. As with all illegal drugs, if there is a will, there’s a way for these counterfeit drugs to enter the U.S. markets and of course they do find ways to sell to unsuspecting people in need of medications. If you hear of a name brand or generic drug being sold for 80% less than the norm………beware! If someone told you, that they could get you a brand new truck that usually goes for $28,000 for only $$6000 today–chances are you wouldn’t do it because you know it can’t be right. If you have been prescribed a drug, you have called your pharmacist and they tell you that there is no substitute, there is no substitute. It’s okay to call another pharmacist to double check. It’s best not to find more than you’ve bargained for, with these counterfeit drugs, we simply don’t know what could be in them. Frankly, illegal operations are just looking to make a buck and could care less about the quality of the ingredients in their formulas.

Just last year Korean customs agents arrested 6 people for smuggling 430,000 fake Viagra pills, fake Cialis similar to Viagra and Xenical which is a popular weight loss drug. Pfizer, the maker of Viagra did say that the smugglers fake Viagra did in fact have some of the true ingredients of Viagra but were not likely to have the same affect of true Viagra. The fact remains that generic drugs, approved by the FDA, with all the standards they must meet are safe and cost effective for American consumers. Americans benefit from the low cost and effectiveness of the products but still need to be aware of the dangers lurking in internet markets or prescriptions from other countries who aren’t governed by the FDA.

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