For people who regularly buy prescription medicines, one of the most common questions they may ask themselves revolves around the issue of generic vs. brand name medicines. The US FDA and Health Canada have already released statements confirming the safety of generic medicines, which are just as effective as their brand name counterparts are.

If you’re new to this debate, here’s a look at some of the terms you need to understand.

Brand name drugs

Brand name drugs are medications produced and distributed by companies that hold patents for these specific drugs. Brand name medicines are typically dispensed over the counter (OTC) or through a medical prescription.

Some examples of brand name drugs are:

Vytorn – Doctor’s recommend patients to buy Vytorin for high cholesterol management

Zithromax – A common antibiotic for the treatment of bacterial infections

Generic medicines

Patents don’t last forever, and when the patent over a branded drug expires, other companies can then develop a generic version of the drug and sell it on the market. Generic medicines contain the same core ingredients found in their brand name equivalents, and must meet the same safety standards branded drugs are subjected to. In addition, generic medicines must have similar a dosage, drug strength, drug mechanism, and method of ingestion as their brand name counterparts. Generics are sold at pharmacies under the generic name of a branded drug.

For xample:

Azithromycin – Generic name of Zithromax

Ciprofloxacin – Generic name of Ciprobay

Are generic drugs safe?

Government regulatory bodies set strict rules on both brand name and generic medicines, and require that they be safe and reliable. Generics come with both the benefits and risks of their branded counterparts, such as desired and undesired side effects.

If generics and their branded counterparts are the same, why do they like different from each other?

Trademark laws dictate that generic drugs cannot have the same exact looks of their brand name counterparts. The law dictates that generics must have the same active ingredient of their branded equals. Other factors such as shape, colour and flavour can be changed.

What makes generic drugs cheap?

New drugs are harder to make from scratch. It takes hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a drug and market it. Generics have the luxury of having the dirty work taken care of by companies that developed brand name drugs, hence their cheaper price.

Canada Drugs United offers an extensive range of prescription generic drugs, giving consumers more cost effective alternatives to some of the industry’s most popular brand name medicines. The company’s drug products are guaranteed to be 100 percent safe, and filed under the supervision of a license pharmacist. Though based in Canada, Canada Drugs United ships prescription medicines to all locations around the world.