Brand vs. Generic

October 10, 2016

I am going to explain brand named drugs versus generic.  We know those people, as you might be one of them, that say brand and generics do not work the same.  Then you have those people that say that they are all the same quit your whining. Well you are both right. How?


The drug companies apply for a patent for a specific drug and they start their research and clinical trials. This process takes years and years to complete. The FDA then approves said drug so it can be dispensed to the public. This drug is called your BRAND named drug. Once the patent expires any other drug company can buy the recipe for this drug and dispense it as a GENERIC. Because the drug companies don’t have to pay for all the years of research, salaries, clinical trials, and equipment they can charge a lower rate for the drug and still turn a profit.


Now there are two components that go into a drug, active ingredients and inactive ingredients. The active ingredients make the drug do the specific job it’s assigned to do and the inactive support the active ingredients.  The inactive ingredients in a GENERIC do not have to match the inactive ingredients in a BRAND to do the job. This is why some generics work and some don’t.


Here’s the breakdown…


Drug: BRAND          

Active Ingredients: A, B, C, D   Inactive Ingredients E, F, G, H




Active Ingredients: A, B, C, D    Inactive Ingredients E, F, G, H



Drug: GENERIC B   

Active Ingredients: A, B, C, D    Inactive Ingredients I, J, K, L  


When a GENERIC works just like the BRAND you are receiving GENERIC A. The pharmacy lingo is that the drug is biochemically identical.  When a drug doesn’t work the same you are receiving GENERIC B.


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The information on this site should not be used in place of, but rather to compliment directives from your healthcare professional.