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Pros and Cons of generic medicines vs branded medicine

Pros and Cons of generic medicines vs branded medicine

As discussed in the previous article, as per FDA, generic medicines are biologically equal to brand name drugs in a therapeutic effect, dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration and intended use. Not only generic medicines are copycat of branded medicines (created after the patent of brand name ends), they are also typically an affordable solution.

These days, generic medicines are getting more and more popular in almost all diseases including heart, diabetes, cancer etc. But exactly how safe are the generics when it comes to keeping ourselves healthy? Here we gonna talk about the pros and cons of generic and branded medicines.

Let’s first talk about the pros and cons of branded medicines:


  • Pioneer drug: Brand name medicines are mostly the first version of the drug in the market. Hence this specific version undergoes vigorous testing to ensure the efficacy of the customers.
  • Absorption rate:&Though extremely rare, there are chances that the body absorbs and receives branded medicines better.
  • Acknowledgement: As pharmaceutical companies invest a lot of time and money in marketing and branding, loyalty and recognition are higher.


 Cost: Mostly, they are more expensive than generic medicines.

  • Health insurance coverage: Due to their high cost, sometimes the total amount of purchase of branded medicines are not encouraged.

 Coming to generic medicines:


  • Cost: As there are no marketing charges involved in promoting generic medicines, they are cheaper than branded medicines.
  • Quality: They are the exact copy of their brand name counterparts.
  • Availability: Because many manufacturers have access to active ingredients, it is more widely available.
  • FDA approved: They are also FDA approved with the same standards of branded medicines.


  • Appearance: Sometimes, because of lots of pills there are chances to mix up the tablets as generic medicines do not have a “brand” or distinct look.
  • Absorption rate: Rarely, some people do not do well with generic medicines- they may absorb it differently due to various factors like coating.
  • Type of drug: It is ideally not advisable to prefer generic medicines for drugs having a narrow therapeutic index. Even a tiny difference in the dose or formulation may cause a reaction. (E.g., blood thinner, lithium and thyroid injections)

Generally, when our patients start a new medication and we have it available from a generic manufacturer, we usually recommend starting with a generic form. While the patient saves the money directly, we equally benefit from the aggregate reduction in health care costs. 

You might be thinking that should I say “Yes” to generic medicines? Then “NO

Though we are sure and it is clear YES from our side, you don’t need to opt for generic medicine if you don’t want to.

Here are the most common reasons:

  • To avoid confusion: If you are taking several medicines, it is not good to keep switching brands. For a few people, there may be a risk in changing brands especially when they are intolerant to excipients.
  • People with certain conditions are advised to stick with their medication and prescribed original brand.

If you still have any concerns about your medicines, feel free to ask your pharmacist. whatsapp your prescription on 840 1500 280

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