Do you buy generic medicines?
I do because they’re cheaper than the branded ones.
But do you know why they’re cheaper?
Is it because they are of less quality or less effective than branded medicines?
I did a small study on this and found some very interesting information. I hope you find it likewise.
I discovered that a generic drug is basically a medicine that has gone off patent. What does this mean?
Pharmaceutical companies spend time and money on research and development of new medicines. Once they are able to come up with one that passes government health tests and standards, the pharmaceutical company will be given exclusive rights to manufacture and market the product globally for a period of around 20 years. This will allow them to recover their costs for R&D.
After that, the patent expires and the product can now be manufactured and sold by other companies. And that’s when medicines of different brands but same generic names come out.
Generic medicine advocates believe that since the active ingredients and/or formula is the same – then the quality, safety and efficacy of these drugs should also be the same as the originator of the branded pharmaceutical product.
Are generic medicines really safe?
Yes. In the Philippines, both branded and generic medicines are required to be registered and approved by BFAD before they can be sold on the market. But always make sure that you buy only from reputable drugstores and choose generic brands manufactured by legitimate companies.
So why are they cheaper?
Because manufacturers of generic medicines only need to cover its production and marketing costs. They did not invest on expensive research and development costs which the original pharmaceutical company did.
So I can always buy generic medicines?
Not quite, remember that there is a patent protection period for newly developed medicines. During these times, you have no choice but to buy the branded product of the pharmaceutical company.
The last question makes it important for us to know if a medicine is already available as a generic product. That will immensely help us save money, specially on maintenance medicines.
How much exactly can you save? Here’s a comparative study I did on generic cholesterol medicine and other similar products. Prices quoted are in Philippine Pesos.
|Fenofibrate cap 100 mg||16.50||19.75||16.46|
|Simvastatin tab 20 mg||15.00||39.50||62.03|
|Amlodipine tab 10 mg||19.65||74.75||73.71|
|Nifedipine tab 20 mg||19.00||35.50||46.48|
|Salbutamol 100 mcg Inhaler||280.00||406.75||31.16|
|ARTHTRITIS / BODY PAIN||Generic||Branded||% Diff|
|Naproxen cap 500 mg||7.00||22.50||68.89|
|NERVOUS SYSTEM||Generic||Branded||% Diff|
|Fluoxetine cap 20 mg||40.00||126.00||68.25|
|Human Insulin 1 vial||800.00||1,276.50||37.33|
|Metformin tab 500 mg||3.25||11.00||70.45|
I’d like to thank Ms. Jenny, the pharmacist in our neighborhood for the prices above. Please note that this is just a partial list of generic medicines and the prices in other pharmacies may be different.
What’s important to note here is that you can basically save up to 70% by purchasing generic medicines. A significant number if you ask me, specially if you’re taking them regularly.
That’s it for now, maybe you’d also like to read my past article on How To Save Money on Medicines for more money saving tips.
Lastly, please don’t forget to subscribe to Ready To Be Rich so you will be updated if there’s a new article here. Thank you.
Image Credit: DennisSylvesterHurd