A generic drug is one copy of a brand medicine and has its same effects. According to the National Institutes of Health and the Office for Women's Health of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the following information may be useful when consuming them. .
The FDA is the world reference and the endorsement of medicines produced jointly with the public institutions of each country, such as the Ministry of Health of Mexico.
The FDA requires that all generic drugs be safe and effective . Because they contain the same substances and produce the same effects in the body as brand-name ones, the risks and benefits are the same.
The FDA requires that the efficacy, quality, purity and stability be equal in generic or brand-name drugs, in addition they must produce the same effects in the same period of time.
The reason why they are cheaper is because the new drugs they are made under patents. A patent gives the pharmaceutical laboratory the exclusive right to sell the drug for a certain period of time. This protects the creators of the product and allows to pay the costs of research, development and commercialization. Other companies may request authorization from the FDA to sell a generic when the patent is about to expire. Laboratories that manufacture generic drugs do not need to cover the initial costs of both research and development and can sell them to a lowest cost because they should not pay for costs related to the creation of the medication. In addition, once the generic drugs are approved, there are more interested in their sale, for this reason the price is kept low. Nowadays, almost half of the prescription drugs are offered in a generic version.
The establishments that manufacture branded medicines are no better than generic ones, given that both must comply with the same standards . The FDA does not allow drugs to be manufactured in low-quality factories. To do this, it inspects around 3,500 factories per year to verify if they meet the standards. Often, the same factories produce both branded and generic drugs.
Health legislation in many countries, such as Mexico or the United States, does not allow a generic drug to be exactly the same as the brand. Even if they use the same substances, colors, flavors and other inactive components may be different.