Generic Drug Facts
Generics are medications that copy an expensive drug. Such a copy will иу effective because the active substance in generics is no different from the original. The dosage may vary. Therefore, before buying, you should carefully study the product description.
Reading the description of any drug is necessary, whether it is a potent medical or homeopathic medicine. Each generic performs a certain function or has a certain pharmacological action. Some relieve headache, toothache, muscle pain. Others eliminate nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. But also each of the drugs has contraindications.
The description should be read very carefully. By eliminating pain, one of the components can cause heartburn, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and so on. When taking, for example, an antihistamine, it is necessary to consider whether it is possible to drive a car or not. After all, very often allergy medications cause drowsiness.
Generic vs. Original
If you think that the generic is significantly different from its original, it is not true. Responsible pharmaceutical manufacturers rarely deviate from the original formulation. Due to this, the copy acts in exactly the same way as the original medicine. But, if you see the very low price, it is worth understanding that such a drug may be ineffective.
On the Internet, you can find all the original and generic drugs. If you know your predisposition to allergies, you can get acquainted with the composition before buying a particular medication. If you find that one of the components is allergic to you, it is worth looking for a similar medication with a lower concentration of the active substance.
Generics not only cost a little cheaper than the original drugs but also create healthy competition in the pharmacological market. Therefore, if there is an opportunity to save money, not on quality, you can buy a generic. Due to the wide assortment, each customer will find the best option.
Why are generics cheap?
The fact is that manufacturers of branded drugs have a huge list of costs and expenses that generic manufacturers do not have. The main costs include:
- research (laboratories, salaries for scientists, paying focus groups, etc.);
- advertising (large pharmaceutical companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on promoting their products).
Naturally, all these costs are included in the total cost of drugs, making them unreasonably high.
In the case with generic manufacturers, they just take the completed formula and produce the drug. It doesn’t make sense to spend on advertising because then they will lose their main advantage – low price.
Who produces generics?
The release of generics is only the result of the market. There is a demand for the health system. But in any case, the medicine must be approved by the regulatory authority of each country in which it will be sold.
When a generic drug enters the market, the equivalence to the analog will depend on what raw materials (its sources and quality) will be used in the course of chemical synthesis, what impurities will be involved, whether the dosage will be calculated correctly. The consideration of these factors directly influences drug effectiveness and its side effects.
As a rule, the requirements for drug release on the market are lower in developing countries (India, South Africa) and higher among leaders – the USA, EU, Japan.
Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturers mainly rely on their own development of anticancer drugs (MAB), vaccines, recombinant proteins (insulin analogs) and gene therapy drugs.
Is it easier to produce generics?
Generic reproduction companies have a completely different cycle of work. Having modern equipment available, it is not difficult to generate an already created molecule. Generic companies conduct a small clinical bioequivalence test to check if their product is identical to the original, which costs about $1 million. Then nothing prevents the launch of a huge number of generic drugs on the pharmaceutical market.
But generic companies do not get access to the drug itself but to the molecule formula. There will be no instructions on how to reproduce it. In this way, generic companies themselves need to decide what to do. There are those who will produce a pharmaceutical substance, that is, the active substance itself, or those who will begin to produce the so-called packaging: mix the active substance with auxiliary substances – chalk, etc. They will faster release the product.
Some manufacturers even buy the active substance in China, and no one knows how carefully they followed the manufacturing instructions. Sometimes, generic medicine is created without taking into account the mechanisms of action and without checking its effectiveness.