2. Are generic drugs as safe as brand-name drugs?
Yes. Legislation requires that all drugs be safe and effective. Since generics use the same active ingredients and are shown to work the same way in the body, they have the same risks and benefits as their brand-name counterparts.
5. Why are generic drugs less expensive?
Generic drugs are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have the investment costs of the developer of a new drug. New drugs are developed under patent protection. The patent protects the investment-including research, development, marketing, and promotion-by giving the company the sole right to sell the drug while it is in effect. As patents near expiration, manufacturers can apply to sell generic versions. Because those manufacturers don't have the same development costs, they can sell their product at substantial discounts. Also, once generic drugs are approved, there is greater competition, which keeps the price down. Today, almost half of all prescriptions are filled with generic drugs.
6. Are brand-name drugs made in more modern facilities than generic drugs?
No. Both brand-name and generic drug facilities must meet the same standards of good manufacturing practices. Generic firms have facilities comparable to those of brand-name firms. In fact, brand-name firms are linked to an estimated 50 percent of generic drug production. They frequently make copies of their own or other brand-name drugs but sell them without the brand name.
8. Does every brand-name drug have a generic counterpart?
No. Brand-name drugs are generally given patent protection for 20 years from the date of submission of the patent. This provides protection for the innovator who laid out the initial costs (including research, development, and marketing expenses) to develop the new drug. However, when the patent expires, other drug companies can introduce competitive generic versions, but only after they have been thoroughly tested by the manufacturer and approved by the relevant authorities.
9. How come I can buy generic Brand name Sildenafil, Propecia and other drugs if there is still a patent on them?
In certain countries, for example India, pharmaceutical companies can make drugs that are patented by other companies internationally, as Indian law protects only the processes by which drugs are made and the brand name, and not the drugs themselves. This means Indian pharmaceutical companies can make generic versions of drugs still under patent in the West provided they use a process that is different from the original ( reverse engineering ), and that the drug is not exported commercially to countries where the patent is in effect. Private individuals may purchase the drugs for their own use.