Generic medicines VS Branded medicines

According to WHO,” Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion and political belief, economic or social condition.” 

People across the globe are entitled to attain the best possible healthcare and sanitation facilities. Governments of several countries are responsible for ensuring adequate practices in their respective countries. 

Now the question is are we able to meet the healthcare needs of all?

The answer is a big ‘no’ for sure. Almost half of the world’s population is deprived of basic health facilities. India being 2nd most populous country has been unable to ensure basic healthcare and sanitation to a lot of its citizens.

Medicines play an integral role in the healthcare system. It is a preventive as well as a corrective measure that is adopted to achieve desired results in human bodies. Medicines found in different sizes and shapes with varied purpose. They are referred to with different names such as Generic and Branded drugs.

 Generic drugs

  • A generic drug is a form of medication that is entirely the same in terms of dosage form, safety, efficacy, route of administration, quality, attributes and uses with that of branded drugs already available in the markets.
  • They have similar bioequivalence to that of branded drugs.
  • They are considered to be safer alternative options for the branded drug counterparts.
  • Not every drug that you choose will have a generic version.
  • Generic drugs and branded drugs do not look the same. One can differentiate between the two based on their physical appearance.
  • They are usually cheaper than the Branded drugs.
  • They need FDA approvals for further 
  • Example: Cefixime is a generic version of Maatrxime which is a branded drug. Both the medications serve the same purpose and have similar attributes.

Branded Drugs 

  • A branded drug is a form of medication that is discovered and developed by a pharmaceutical company after performing several clinical trials to ensure desirable qualities. It can only be marketed after FDA approval.
  • Branded drugs have well defined physical appearance.
  • They are authentic and are costly because the manufacturers conduct several clinical trials to ensure desirable safety and efficacy. These trials are expensive so the manufacturers have to increase the price of branded drugs to avoid losses.
  • You can find branded drugs for a wide range of health ailments but you cannot find generic drugs for a wide range of health ailments.
  • Usually, a branded drug derives its name from its active ingredient’s name. Example: Maatroxate is the branded name of Flavoxate Hydrochloride and both aim to work same.

Both types of medications have to undergo rigorous approvals from various regulatory associations such as FDA and others to ensure desirable safety and efficacy.

Which medication is better?

A generic drug is similar to branded drug in every possible aspect except for the physical attributes. Generic drugs are cheaper and affordable for the masses. Both undergo rigorous evaluation process from regulatory bodies such as FDA and others. There is hardly any significant difference in the mode of action in which generic drugs are preferred by the majority of the people. Therefore, referring to generic medicines as ineffective is utterly baseless. The practical difference between both types of medications is in the way they are sold and marketed. One can keep track of the list of generic drugs from the information shared by FDA. In case of any health issues do not hesitate to consult with doctors because ‘Health is everything.’

By – Priyanka Padhi

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