All drugs have chemical, or in other words, generic names, which describe the ingredients these drugs consist of. Medicines may also have brand names, given by the companies that produced them. For instance, a well-known drug with the brand name Prozak has a generic name fluoxetine. Sometimes, there can be found medicines brand names, which do not differ from their generic names and there also exist generics, which can be identified either by their internationally approved non-proprietary scientific name, or by their own brand names.
The generics are popular in many countries first and foremost due to theiro price in comparisson to higher-priced original medicines. Typically, a generic medicine is twenty to eighty percent less expensive than its brand-name original. This happens,since the generic drugs cost less to be produce, as the company does not have to spend on research and advertising.
Nevertheless, a generic is cheaper, usually havings the same quality, safety and efficacy of the original brand name product. It undergoes thorough biological scrutiny before it is licensed and given a market approval by the medicines authorities. In particular, it is a must for the generic products to contain the same active substances, quality, strength, purity, and safety as the original drugs do. The generic drugs must also containin the same dosage forms (a pill, liquid, a shot) as the brand-name drugs.
However, similarity of the generics and brand-name drugs on a biological level does not necessarily mean that they produce the same therapeutic effect. It is a fact that the generics may be worse absorbants. Furthermore, the brand-name drugs may cause fewer or weaker side effects.
Due to the trademark laws, which do not allow the generic drugs to look exactly like the brand-name drugs, their producers use different colors, flavors, and include other inactive ingredients, only leaving the same active substance. These differences explain why the generics may cause some slightly different effects.
Thus, a generic medicine can be of a equivalent biological quality of the original pharmaceutical product at an affordable price. Even without essential differences, it cannot be always interchangeable with the original product. There are a few reasons for choosing the brand-name drugs rather than the generics: very precise control of the dose may be important, or the medicine may be extremely hard to produce. Here are the examples of the brand-name products that might be preferred Coumadin (warfarin), Lanoxin (digoxin), and Dilantin (phenytoin).
Thus, one should never substitute a brand-name medicine, prescribed by the doctor, with a generic one on their own without a doctor's permission, keeping in mind the fact that sometimes for a generic to take the same effect as that of a brand-name, a pharmaceutical new treatment regime and dosage needs the docors' approval.