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Why Are Generic Medicines Cheaper than Branded Medicines?

Jan, 24 2019
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Why Are Generic Medicines Cheaper than Branded Medicines?

The concept of generic medicines isn’t new at all. A news report by Health Day reveals that back in the year 1920s the company that made Bayer aspirin fiercely fought to keep their generic medicine suppliers off the shelves. But, the company lost in court and the gates of generic options for aspirin were opened for them.

Within a recent 40 years span the drug companies have come a long way, where generic drugs are widely available and are carefully tested.

What is a Generic Drug and effective is it?

Generic medicines are copies of the branded and original version of the drug that are produced after the original patent expires. In a more scientific manner, generic drugs have the exact same active ingredients, efficacy, dosage, strength, indications, and the process of administration and side effects as the original branded medicine. Therefore, the pharmacological effects are exactly the same as the ones produced by their branded equivalents.

This is how it works- a medicine that is discovered, researched, developed and marketed by a pharmaceutical company is represented by its brand name. Any newly discovered drug/ medicine is given a brand name by the manufacturer of the drug and this name is exclusively kept for the manufacturer. A newly discovered drug has two forms:

● The brand name

The brand name is the one that represents the drug in the market and works as the common identity of the drug for the common people.

● The generic name

It is the one with the common scientific name having an affordable combination of salts that work the same way as the original one.

When a pharmaceutical company discovers a new drug and markets it, it receives a patent on the newly discovered drug. The usually tenure till when the patent persists is about 17 to 20 years, depending on the molecule of the drug, to give the pharmaceutical company a chance to recover its research and enhance the first time development investment. After the patent expires, a generic version of the may become available for sale. The company that manufactures the brand name drug or another company can produce generic versions of the original medicine. Thus, it can be summarized that the generic variant of the drug is the bioequivalent of its brand name counterpart, which means that there is either no significant variation between the two drugs in terms of the rate and extent of absorption or even if there is a variation, it is either medically insignificant or intended. You can get various generic medicines at affordable prices from Emedkit an exporter all over the world especially, Russia, China, Romania, Peru and USA.

What is the difference between Generic Medicines and Branded Medicines?

● The generic medicines are different in appearance, such as in:

 - Shape

 - Packaging

 - Colour

 - Labelling/ Markings

 - Preservatives used

 - Flavour of the medicine

● The drugs are made up of two kinds of ingredients- active and inactive. The generic drugs might have a different set of inactive ingredients. This is especially beneficial for people who may allergic to some specific colour dyes and flavours that are used in drugs.

● The generic drugs cost lesser than their counterpart brand names.

As the generic drugs can be made by a different pharmaceutical company than the one that made the brand name, the manufacturer of the generic drug may be different. This also means that depending on where you buy it from, the generics dispensed can be different.

The generic medicines may have different expiration dates.

We know what generic drugs are, we know the difference between generic drugs and branded medicines, let us now find out why the generic options are much cheaper than their branded counterparts.

Why are Generic Medicines Cheaper than Branded Medicines?

It is a well-known fact that generic drugs are chemically identical to their branded versions, they are still sold at substantial levels of discounts from the branded price. According to a study by Food and Drug Administration, it was observed that, in the United States, the cost of generic drugs is 80% to 85% lower than the brand name product on an average.

This drastic shift in the price slabs of the medicines makes us wonder why the generic medicines are so cheap and affordable.

● The major reason for this has to do with the cost of making the drug. The manufacturers of the generic version of a drug do not have to face the same making costs the manufacturers of the brand names require. This is because the maker of the brand name often invents the drug that requires a huge amount of funding. The cost for the launching of a new drug includes various expenses that the company making the new drug has to generate before the brand name drug reaches the market. Some of these expenses include:

● Research for the drug

● Large scale drug testing

● Advertising

● Marketing and promotion

● Clinical Trials

Therefore, when a pharmaceutical company brings a new drug in the market, the company has already spent a substantial sum of money on their research, development, marketing and promotion of the drug.

This is not the case with generic drug manufacturers; they are not required to spend huge amounts of money while developing the generic drug. This happens because the drug’s formula is known to the generic drug manufacturers; the clinical trials for its effectiveness have been completed by the brand name drug company. The generic drug manufacturers have to only invest in the production of the medicine that will be sold at lower and affordable prices to the patients.

● The other most influential reason is marketing. The brand name manufacturers start the manufacturing of their product from scratch and build their niche foundation in the market by promoting their product to the doctors and the public. The brand name company has to employ numerous tactics such as sending representatives to visit doctors in many clinics and hospitals, arranging conferences with doctors to talk about the company’s drugs and its effect. The generic medicine manufacturers have to seldom spend money on tasks like advertising and marketing. This happens because the generic companies receive the benefits of previous marketing done by the brand name company including activities like presentations by medical and drug representatives, media advertising and the distribution of free samples. Most of the generic drugs have an established market even before they step foot in the market. Most of the drugs that were later introduced as generic have been on the market shelves for more than a decade (the time period till the patent does not expire) and is already a popularly known drug to the patients and the dug providers.

● Another reason that keeps the prices of generic medicines in check is the competition. Once a generic drug gets approved, numerous companies start making and selling the generic drug and this keeps on increasing the competition but at the same time keeping the price under check.

Emedkit is one of the leading generic medicine suppliers and exporter all over the world that provides genuine generic and branded medicines directly from the manufacturer.