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Are generic drugs safe?

ANSWER

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

SOURCES:

FDA: "Facts About Generic Drugs," "Understanding Generic Drugs," "Generic Drugs," "Frequently Asked Questions on Patents and Exclusivity."

Generic Pharmaceutical Association: Letter from FDA to Nicole Schultz, Iowa Pharmacy Association, regarding generic substitution, Jan. 11, 2008.

Vivian J. U.S. Pharmacist, 2008.

HealthGuidance: "Generic Versus Brand-name Drugs."

Drugs.com: "Generic Drugs -- Availability and Patent Status."

California Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Pharmacy: "Generic Drugs: real medicines at high quality, low cost."

Federal Trade Commission: "Facts for Consumers: Generic Drugs: Saving Money at the Pharmacy."

Pope, N. U.S. Pharmacist, 2009.

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists: "FDA Moves Closer to New Requirements for NTI Drugs."

Generic Pharmaceutical Association: "Bioequivalence."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 29, 2017

SOURCES:

FDA: "Facts About Generic Drugs," "Understanding Generic Drugs," "Generic Drugs," "Frequently Asked Questions on Patents and Exclusivity."

Generic Pharmaceutical Association: Letter from FDA to Nicole Schultz, Iowa Pharmacy Association, regarding generic substitution, Jan. 11, 2008.

Vivian J. U.S. Pharmacist, 2008.

HealthGuidance: "Generic Versus Brand-name Drugs."

Drugs.com: "Generic Drugs -- Availability and Patent Status."

California Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Pharmacy: "Generic Drugs: real medicines at high quality, low cost."

Federal Trade Commission: "Facts for Consumers: Generic Drugs: Saving Money at the Pharmacy."

Pope, N. U.S. Pharmacist, 2009.

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists: "FDA Moves Closer to New Requirements for NTI Drugs."

Generic Pharmaceutical Association: "Bioequivalence."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 29, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

How does the FDA approve a generic drug?

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