In the United States, all drugs and medications are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, also called the FDA.
Before any drug can be sold in the United States, it must meet FDA regulations.
According to the FDA, brand name and generic medications that receive authorization by the administration are required to be equal.
The only major difference between name-brand drugs and their generic alternatives is the price point.
In fact, almost every generic drug is significantly less expensive than the brand name versions.
One of the major reasons why generic medications are cheaper is due to the amount of competition in the marketplace.
Most name-brand drugs are patented, which prevents competitors from creating a similar or equivalent product.
As such, these drug companies are allowed to price their own drugs and do not have any competition that pushes them to price medications more competitively.
Unfortunately, this means that customers end up spending more of their money on these medications than they would have if they have a generic drug as an alternative.
Learn About Generic Drug Alternatives
One of the reasons why generic drugs are cheaper than name-brand medications is because the safety of these drugs has already been verified through clinical studies.
Larger, brand name companies typically handle the clinical studies that test whether an ingredient is safe to be used to produce medications.
Since the ingredients have already been tested, generic medications are sure to be just as safe and effective.
However, some alternatives should be used with caution, so be sure to learn about the best medicines to buy generic over brand name.
About Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, commonly referred to as NSAIDS, are typically used as general pain relief medications.
These NSAID drugs can usually be purchased over the counter at drug stores and from a few other types of retailers.
The most common medicines of this type include naproxen and ibuprofen which are frequently sold under brand names such as Aleve, Motrin and Advil. Some uses for these types of drugs include:
- Fever reduction.
- Inflammation reduction.
- General pain relief.
Many people use these non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs regularly throughout the year in order to combat their pain or discomfort.
Some common ailments that require the use of NSAIDs include the flu, arthritis or general achiness.
Although these over-the-counter medications are generally less expensive than prescription drugs, customers can still purchase generic alternatives in order to save some extra money.
Depending on the medication, customers can save up to 20 percent or more on their purchases, especially when paired with pharmacy discount cards.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the drug known as amoxicillin has been listed as an essential medicine to maintaining health and it is also one of the most popular prescription drugs that are offered in the United States.
Since the patent for Amoxicillin has expired, generic versions of the drug are now more widely available than ever before.
Amoxicillin used to be sold under the brand name of Amoxil, but now other companies produce their own generic and brand name versions of the medication.
Generally, amoxicillin is an antibiotic that is prescribed to patients who have some form of bacterial infection.
Some of the specific bacterial infections that may be treated using amoxicillin include:
- Ear infections.
- Skin infections.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Other infections involving the throat and nose.
According to data gathered from various pharmacies, Vicodin was an incredibly popular medication in the United States in 2017.
Vicodin is a mixture of two main ingredients, acetaminophen (commonly found in Tylenol) and a strong opioid drug called hydrocodone.
This powerful pain relief medication comes in a number of different forms including tablets, syrups, liquids and capsules.
Doctors will usually prescribe a name-brand or generic Vicodin to patients who have experienced an injury or illness that has left them with chronic pain.
This medication is helpful in relieving pain on a daily basis and allowing patients to find comfort and self-sufficiency during their recovery.
Unfortunately, Vicodin also tends to be an expensive medication.
However, the average price for name-brand Vicodin can vary depending on a number of factors including the form of the drug.
For instance, a 5mg/300mg name-brand Vicodin tablets are sold in bottles containing 60 pills and can cost around $70 or more, while the generic sells for as little as $43 per bottle.
These savings on generic drugs can range from a few dollars to significant savings.
Lipitor is a medication that is standardly used to lower the cholesterol of patients, and it is also one of the most frequently purchased drugs in the United States.
Patients take Lipitor in order to reduce the cholesterol produced within their liver and regulating the levels of unhealthy triglycerides within the body.
This medication can help patients reduce their risk of stroke and heart attacks.
The manufacturer of Lipitor was the sole distributor until 2011 due to patent protection, meaning generic versions of the drug were completely unavailable.
Fortunately, since the patent expired, a generic version of Lipitor called atorvastatin has been made widely available.
Nowadays, the average cost of atorvastatin in the U.S. has gone from over $400 for a bottle of name brand Lipitor to about $115 for a generic version.
Learn About Generic Drug Alternatives That Should Be Used With Caution
There are certain drugs from a group of treatment options that are known as “narrow therapeutic index” (NTI) medications.
These medications provide narrow windows of treatments and their results can change drastically if there is an alteration in dosage.
In some cases, these medications can become ineffective or cause certain adverse reactions if the dosage is changed without a doctor’s assistance.
Some commonly used NTI medications include:
- Lithium carbonate.
In order for generic versions of these NTI medications to be sold, they must first be approved by the FDA.
Typically, the FDA checks to see if there is bioequivalence between the generic medication and the brand name.
Generic brands that pass all bioequivalence inspections are considered safe by the FDA and can be purchased in the United States.