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FAQs about generic medicines

FAQs about generic medicines

Capsule PharmacySince 2016, we at Dipika Solanki, Pharmacy Head and co-founder of CAPSULE PHARMACY to share answers to the most common and frequently asked questions about generic and branded medicines. 

Also read our previous blogto know more.

1.Do all brand name drugs have a generic equivalent?

NO.Generic drugs become available in the market once the patent expires. Not all patients follow same schedule, so it may take longer for some drugs to have a generic equivalent.

2.Are generic drugs as safe as their counterparts?

YES.Generic drugs are also subject to FDA approval and ensure constant monitoring of their safety, effectiveness and quality. It also investigates any problem or complaint and requests a batch recall, if necessary, for both brand and generic drugs.

3. Do you get company choice when choosing from a range of generic medicines?

YES.Thousands of manufacturers get access to manufacture generic medicine. So, when choosing generic medicine, it is good if you choose branded generic medicine from companies like Abbott, Cipla, Cadila, Biochem etc. to get authenticated result. Find more about it in our previous blog

4.Can patients save money by asking the doctor for the generic alternative available in the market?

YES. YES.Because there are no marketing costs involved and studies-trials are not repeated in making generic medicines, they cost less than their brand name counterparts. Also, multiple manufacturers can apply to get their generic medicine available in the market which further ensures competition to lower prices even more.

5.Can a doctor require the patient to receive a brand name drug even when a generic is available?

YES. As per law, the pharmacist is supposed to fill the prescription as it’s written. Hence if it is written“DO NOT SUBSTITUTE” it has to be honoured. But mind well, even generic drugs undergo rigorous testing and are just as effective as brand name drugs.

6.Do most doctors know when a generic equivalent is available in the market?

NO.There are thousands of medicines available out there, hence it is difficult for a doctor to know when new generics come into the market. If doctors don’t specify that patient must get branded medicine, most pharmacists are allowed to give generic substitutes, once confirmed by the patient.

7.Are generic and brand name drugs appear same?

NO.Generic drugs may look different from branded drugs despite having the same active ingredient, dosage, strength, route of administration and labelling.

8.Is there any other ingredient than active ingredient (API) in medicine?

YESWhile the active ingredient makes the medicine work, inactive ingredients- known as excipients are needed for many reasons:

Filler: If the quantity of API is small

Stabilizer: To keep API effective for longer

Binder: To hold the ingredients together

Sweetener or flavouring agent: To mask the bitterness of medicine

Coating Agent: To make tablet or capsule easier to swallow

9. Are most of the drugs dispensed generic?

YES.Although it is less common in India, in most foreign countries, generics account for almost 85% of the prescriptions dispensed.

For any other information or request, contact your doctor

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