About Generic Medicines

What are generics and why they are comparatively cheaper than their brand names equivalents?

What are the Generic medicines? 

Generic medicine is a pharmaceutical drug that has the same active ingredients as the drug that was originally developed, patented and innovated. Generic drugs are allowed for sale after the expiry of the patent of the original drugs. 

The generic medicine has the same Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) as the original, but it may differ in characteristics such as the process of manufacturing, excipients, color, taste, and packaging.

Nowadays, Many people become concerned because generic drugs are often substantially cheaper than the brand-name versions.

Why are generics comparatively much cheaper than their original brands?


Patented medicine is more expensive because:

  • Innovative brand-name pills require significant amounts of money and time to discover. (nearly 10-15 years).
  • Marketing techniques and Advertising are quite costly as well.

This expense has to compensate by the manufacturer. This is why the price for patented medicines is so high. 

It has estimated, that an average cost of discovering and testing a new innovative drug(molecule) with a new chemical entity may be costly to about $ 700-800 million.

Generic pills are cheaper because:

  • The production of generics doesn't require a new formula or production technology (existing ones are used instead by reverse-engineer known drug compounds).
  • Generic pills are bio-equivalents of the brand drugs, and therefore they don't need the additional advertising. They receive the benefit of the previous marketing efforts of the brand-name drug company, including media advertising, presentations by drug representatives, and distribution of free samples.
  • Generic manufacturers also do not bear the burden of proving the safety and efficacy of the drugs through clinical trials, since the brand name company has already conducted these trials.

So, there is no truth in the myths that generic medicines manufactured in poorer-quality facilities or are inferior in quality to brand-name drugs. The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) applies the same standards for all drug manufacturing facilities, and many companies produce both brand-name and generic drugs. The FDA estimates that 50% of generic medicine production is by the brand-name companies.
Another common misbelief is that generic medicine takes longer to work compared to Brand-name medicines. The FDA states that generic drugs work as fast and as effectively as the original brand-name products.