Why it can make sense to go for generic medication brands

10 07 2013


Image via Flickr creative commons from ell brown

There’s been a lot of discussion in the media over the last few years about the increasing use of generic medications. Unless you follow developments in the pharmaceutical world fairly closely, however, you may not know what generic medicines actually are. When a drug patent expires after a certain period, other pharmaceutical companies can then start to produce their own version of the drug – and these copies are referred to as generics. Cheap toiletries and medicines can really lighten some of the load on strained budgets, so it’s not hard to see why they’re proving so popular at the moment. But just what are the advantages of generic medication?

According to an article from Yahoo Voices, generic medications have now come to account for more than half of drug sales in the US. You may be a bit apprehensive about whether these drugs are as reliable as the original medications they’re intended to emulate, but it’s worth noting that generic medications are also subject to stringent control and monitoring by various regulatory bodies – although, obviously, the extent of regulation will vary from country to country. This means that you can have confidence that when you buy generic medication, it’s perfectly safe. What’s more, regulators insist that generic drugs must be as effective as their patented counterparts.

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of generic medication is that it’s considerably cheaper than patented originals tend to be. Patented drugs are often considerably more expensive as developers seek to recoup development costs – as well as other costs such as marketing – in addition to making a profit on top. Generic manufacturers, on the other hand, don’t have to invest in developing new drugs from scratch and can simply imitate those medicines designed by others. This means that they can therefore deliver considerably lower prices, benefiting the purchaser.

An article from eHow.com notes that there are also a number of other benefits to generic medications. It points out that the cost of manufacturing original drugs often spirals to hundreds of millions of dollars, and the fact that the cost of developing generic equivalents is far cheaper also benefits healthcare providers – providing wider economic benefits. Obviously, funding of healthcare systems can vary widely from country to country. Some are funded primarily by the state from borrowing and general taxation, while others are funded largely by private health insurance. Generic drugs help to deliver savings for both, which can be particularly noticeable among those who have to cover the cost of health insurance themselves.

This is the case as much in developing countries as in developed countries, if not more so. In fact, the considerably lower cost of generic drugs means they’re more affordable for people who would otherwise never have been able to access them. So the benefits of generic medication are both economic and medical. You should be able to find a wide range of generic medications on offer at your local pharmacy, and it might be worth speaking to a pharmacist if you have any other doubts you want to clear up.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: