How many times will be happened to hear a pharmacist to ask “generic or original”. Perhaps this question was asked just to you and you have not been able to answer, not knowing the difference.
When a pharmacist will ask this question, certainly there are many questions that come to mind: I take the original, already tried and tested, or trust the advice of my pharmacist who offers me an equivalent drug, but at a price minor? Why is it called Generic? It is perhaps less specific? OK, let’s clear and we answer all these questions!
What is a generic drug?
A generic drug is known to be identical to the original drug, but with a now expired patent. What does it mean? First things first.
When we speak of the original drug, it means a product for which the company had invested considerable sums of money, including the study, research and experimentation. For this is released, by law, a twenty-year term patent so as to guarantee the company a production and an exclusive sale, to cover the investments made. As mentioned, the patent has a limited life and then it expires, the drug becomes public: another pharmaceutical company can easily produce and sell another drug with the same active ingredient as the original.
That’s why we talk about generic and not original. The most important difference is definitely the savings generated by the purchase of a generic drug, the original: we are talking about a lower price by about 20% than the original, variation due to the fact that the new drug company does not invest money in research and evaluation of the generic drug.
Clearly, the generic drug must be approved by the Ministry of Health to verify compliance and bio-equivalence. In fact, it is common to define the generic drugs as “equivalent”, just to reassure the customer about the actual purchase of a drug precise match.
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What are the advantages of generic drugs?
Despite the equivalence between the two types of drugs, yet are these doubts or fears about their effectiveness and sameness. We pharmacists can confirm you what I said earlier: the equivalent drugs are copies of the original.
It is understandable that those who buy the medicines be afraid to take a new road and not well known, especially when at stake is their own health: as the saying goes “never leave the old road for the new.” But it is crucial to reassure you about the real therapeutic effectiveness of the product equivalent, because the benefits are important:
- The price: yes, we have anticipated. The price is lower by at least 20% than the original, but there are also cases of an effective saving even 50%.
- Declining public spending, not only saves the customer, but also the Local Health Service, because it is less spending on the study and the drug testing. This substantial savings that results is then used to fund other research, increase the pharmaceutical offer, to buy machinery for serious therapies such as cancer and AIDS.
- Of availability index: it is easier to track down generic medicines, than the original drugs. So if you absolutely need a medication for your treatment and the original is not available, you can safely rely on the equivalent.
In conclusion, our advice is to inquire and always in the best way possible about the original product we are going to buy, then evaluates the proposed equivalents and always listen to the advice of your pharmacist who will advise authoritatively the right one for you!