Are Generics the Same as Brand-Name Drugs?


If you take a brand-name medicine, your doctor or pharmacist may offer you a generic version of the drug. But what are generics, exactly? Do they work as well as brand-name drugs? Let's take a moment to learn more.

Same drug, new version

When a new drug is launched, it has a "brand name" and a patent. The patent means the company that developed the drug is the only one that can make and sell it. But for many drugs, this eventually ends. Then, other companies can create a copy of the drug. These versions are called "generics." They don't have the original brand name, but they usually have a much lower price.

Are they safe and effective?

Are generics safe? Are they effective? A generic has the same active ingredients as the equivalent brand-name drug. And it has these ingredients in the same amounts. So it should work the same way. Your doctor can give you more info about specific generic drugs.


To find out if a generic is right for you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.