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Effectiveness and safety: brand name medications vs generics

Switching from branded medicines to generics may save a great deal of money, particularly if you are starting on a medication for the first time. One the major differences is the market price of branded and generic medicines. In 1984, generics accounted for less than 19% of all prescriptions filled. Nowadays, generic medications represent more than 54% of all prescriptions dispensed in the United States of America. Additionally, even though generics account for more than half of prescriptions sold, they account for less than 16 cents of every dollar spent on prescription medications. These days there are more than 7,800 generics of about 10,668 FDA-sanctioned drugs and medicines. Many people have doubts about the potency of generics, since they are often considerably cheaper than branded drugs. They wonder if the quality and effectiveness have been changed to make lower-cost pharmaceuticals. A 1990 study by FDA laboratories placed around the USA found that for those categories of prescription medicines that were likely to trigger safety or efficacy problems if they were not produced in the proper way, the generic medication met the required standards in virtually all cases. The classes of medications tested included birth control drugs, antibiotics, and medicines prescribed for asthma, epilepsy, hypertension and abnormal heart rhythms. Of the 429 samples of the 24 different medications examined, including both brand name and generic medications, there were no samples examined that posed a health threat to patients when examined for efficacy. The main reason that these 24 various drugs were selected is that they all have a narrow therapeutic range. This means that in comparison to most types of drugs, for which there is a relatively big scope of dosages that are both efficient and relatively secure, the amount of these medications that gets into the body must be more tightly regulated. If it is not, the drug may too easily lose its effectiveness (if the dose is too low) or become toxic (if the dose is too high). The drugs tested were 6 asthma drugs, 4 drugs for treating epilepsy, 4 high blood pressure medicines, 4 medications for treating heart arrhythmias, a birth control pill, one antibiotic, a drug for curing depression, and the so-called blood-thinning drug. In 6 classes of medications, both brand name and generic versions were tested. In the case of the contraception, all of the major brand names, but no generic medication, were examined. The FDA laboratory studies for purity and quality concluded that there was no difference between the brand name and the generic versions for 23 of the 24 medications examined.
Author: kyala93
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