Branded medicine will always cost more than generic unbranded medicine. It’s led many people to question whether there’s any real difference between the two. This article will answer whether generic medicine is the same as name brand medicine, and how that impacts your choices, particularly when it comes to health insurance.
Generic Medicine is the Same
Brand name medicine is like so many other things. You’re paying extra for the brand. All medicine, according to FDA guidelines, has to have the same strength and the same dosage. Brands can’t alter the drug or the way it’s taken for safety reasons. It would cause them to come into conflict with the FDA.
Your Insurance Plan May Only Cover Brand Name Drugs
Let’s say you have a full coverage dental insurance plan that covers a number of drugs within a number of different procedures. Check which drugs these are. Brand name drugs will ultimately make your coverage more expensive. Request that your dental insurance plan uses only generic drugs, or switch your dentist.
The same applies to every type of health insurance plan. Make sure they don’t include brand name drugs.
Not All Brand Names Have Generic Equivalents
Some brand name drugs are unique because they were created and licensed by the brands themselves. In this situation, you have no real choice but to pay the higher costs. You will need to do your research to know this for sure, however. A healthcare professional should be able to help you with this.
Some Generics are Different
FDA law only stipulates which active ingredient has to be in each type of drug. The additional ingredients can be as different as the manufacturer likes, as long as they don’t interfere with the action of the drug. This can result in some generic drugs being of a lower quality than their brand name equivalents.
This goes beyond mere taste. Some generic drugs are less likely to be absorbed by the bloodstream. They still work, but they’re much less beneficial.
Side Effects Can Differ
Due to the other ingredients used in generic drugs, the side effects can be different. Many brand names market themselves based not on the healing potential of their drugs but on their limited side effects. This is possible because of the different ingredients alongside the active ingredient.
It’s why some cheaper drugs may have unfortunate side effects, such as making the patient feel dizzy or nauseous.
Conclusion – So What Should You Buy?
It’s often difficult to know whether you should opt for a brand name drug or a generic drug. In the vast majority of cases, it’s better to purchase the generic drug. The differences aren’t significant enough to warrant the price increase. But the answer is to really do your research.
See if there’s an alternative that doesn’t come with too many side effects. If you’re willing to put in the time you can save money without compromising your health.
How will you stay healthy this coming year?