Generic Drugs: A safe, money saving option.

October 11, 2013

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These days everyone is looking to save some money. One cost that people often overlook is health care costs, even though the average family pays over $400 per month on health insurance. One simple way to reduce medical spending is to look into using generic drugs, rather then using big brand name drugs. 

Most people tend to think that if something is being highly marketed, (for instance, featured in television commercials, such as Lipitor or Nexium) that the product is of high quality. This is not the case when it comes to medications. The fact is, the FDA requires that all generic drugs work just as well as the brand name. Not only do generic drugs need to work just as well, but they “are required to have the same active ingredient, strength, dosage form, and route of administration as the brand name. 

Web MD has a very interesting article titled: “The Ten Most Prescribed Drugs.”   Surprisingly, this article explains that none of the top ten most prescribed drugs are the ones making the most money. Generic drugs are widely used however; the brand name companies make much more money selling much less quantity. It is important to remember that the pharmaceutical companies are looking to make money. Which is why they will get celebrities to endorse their products, or pay lots of money to run ads on television.  Just because brand name drugs are more expensive and widely endorsed does not mean it is of better quality then a generic drug. 

Note that making a generic drug takes time, after a new brand name drug is developed, pharmacies need to develop the generic version and have it approved.  So during a certain period of time the brand name version may be the only option.

If you are currently using any brand name drugs consider talking to your doctor about switching to generic alternatives. The FDA reported, “In 2010 the use of FDA-approved generics saved $158 billion dollars.” Lets see how much you can save!


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