If you've had a prescription filled recently, there's a good chance you're taking a generic drug. Almost 80% of prescription drugs sold are generics. That option helps save patients and hospitals billions of dollars every year.
It's estimated that you could save at least two-thirds of your drug costs if you use generic drugs.
There are lots of resources online that can help you make plans for taking care of your loved one. Check out these web sites for some useful information about caregiving.
Administration on Aging
Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving
Family Caregiver Alliance
Housing and Urban Development
According to the FDA, generic drugs can be trusted to have the same quality as brand-name drugs -- but at a cheaper price. That's important to know because no one wants to skimp on health, even if it means saving money.
How Are Generics the Same as Brand-Name Drugs?
The FDA requires a generic drug to meet standards that ensure it's the same basic product as the brand-name drug. That means the generic drug is safe and can be taken:
The same way as a brand-name drug
For the same reason as a brand-name drug
For the FDA to approve a generic drug, it must be the same as the brand-name product in:
Use and effect
How you take it (for example as a pill, inhaler, or liquid)
Ability to reach the required level in the bloodstream at the right time and to the same extent
How Are Generics Different From Brand-Name Drugs?
Some differences between generics and brand-name drugs are allowed. These may change the look of the drug. But they don’t affect how it works or its safety.
Generic drugs may differ in:
Labeling (minor differences)
Generic drugs are allowed to have different inactive ingredients than brand-name drugs. For example, they may have a different:
The inactive ingredients in a generic, though, must be considered safe by the FDA.
Generic drugs may also have a different expiration date than brand-name drugs. But even so, the generic must keep its effectiveness until its expiration date, just like a brand-name product.
Why Are Generic Drugs Cheaper Than Brand-Name Drugs?
You may be wondering how a generic drug can be sold at a much lower price than a brand-name drug.
The difference in price has to do with the different costs drugmakers have in bringing generics and brand-name drugs to the pharmacy shelf.