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Generic Medications: What You Should Know

When you walk into a pharmacy, you will be greeted with two options. You could go with a more expensive but brand name product or you could go with a budget-friendly generic option. So what is the difference between the two and why should you pick one over the other? This is a question that can be difficult to answer as both products have their benefits and are safe and effective to use. However, here is some information that you should know about medicine and generic drugs:

  • The Price Difference:

    The first thing people notice between generic medications and brand name drugs is the price difference. Generic medicine is far more affordable compared to their brand name cousins and the reason for this is actually quite simple. Basically, a brand name drug is the original product. This means that it has gone through a long development process that involves millions of dollars and years of research, testing, and development.

    This is a long and expensive process, which forces pharmaceutical companies to charge more for their product. However, this is so they are able to find new research and develop new drugs in the future.

    Generic medications do not have to go through this expensive developmental process, which means they are far more affordable. Generics are created by copying formulas of existing medications. However, due to the law they are unable to copy these formulas exactly, thus generics use different kinds of ingredients, so that is something to keep in mind.

  • Are Generic Drugs Safe:

    It can be tempting to save money and go for a generic drug but are they safe to use? The short answer is, yes. Generic medications go through the same exact testing, standards, regulations, and are governed by the same laws as brand name drugs. This means you can rest easy knowing that the pharmaceutical products you are using are safe and effective.

    To take it a step further, generic medications are also required to be just as or more effective compared to the original. So in many cases, you could save money and take a better product at the same time.

  • Should You Pay More for Brand Name Drugs:

    Since generic medications are safe and affordable to use, is there a point in paying more for brand name drugs? Yes, there is. Since generic medications are not allowed to copy the original formula ingredient for ingredient, there are some variations and this is important to consider. Many people have allergies or unable to take particular ingredients. In this case, if your doctor prescribed a particular brand name drug over a generic, it is better to get the brand name. However, the price is usually negligible due to insurance covering it.

    Also, you could choose brand name drugs in order to support the pharmaceutical companies producing these products. This is so they will have the resource to continue researching in new medications and products that can be used to prevent diseases, cure illness, and improve our health.

  • Compounding:

    A big benefit of generic medications is compounding services. Even though these services are available for brand name drugs, it is better to do it on the cheaper option. Compounding is a useful service that allows pharmacies to alter medications in order to make them safer and more effective for you.

    This is important because when pharmaceutical companies develop their products, they do it to benefit as many people as possible. In order to do this, they create their drugs to work on the average person. This ensures that many people are able to use the product effectively. However, this also means that the medication will be either too strong or not strong enough for certain people.

    In this situation, compounding is required. Through compounding you have the ability to alter many aspects of the drug such as dosage levels, flavor, form, and ingredients. This allows pharmacies to personalize your medications, to make them as effective as possible for you. Since you are customizing the medication, it is a much better idea to do it to a generic drug, which is far more affordable compared to brand alternatives.

  • Availability:

    Most pharmacies stock both kinds of medications but there are also pharmacies that only carry generic drugs. This is something to keep in mind when you are out looking for a particular medication. However, you can also make your search easier by searching the websites of nearby pharmacies. Many pharmacies put a lot of effort in their custom web design to create a convenient and easy-to-use online service. Here you can determine what they have and some pharmacies could even deliver to you if you order online.

Those are just a few things you should know about generic medications. They are a great product and there is really no reason not to use them over brand name drugs, unless your doctor has specifically told you so. The next time you visit your local pharmacy looking to fill a prescription or get over-the-counter medication, keep in mind that generic medications can be one of your options to save money.

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