What’s the Difference Between Generics and Brand-Name Drugs?

While the pills you receive at the pharmacy counter may look slightly different from the brand, generic medicines work the same as costlier brand-name products. They have the same active ingredients, and the manufacturing and packaging must pass the same quality standards.

A fact sheet from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirms, “Generic drugs go through a rigorous review process to receive FDA approval. The FDA ensures a generic medication provides the same clinical benefit and is as safe and effective as the brand-name medicine that it duplicates.”

Cost is the main difference between generic and brand name prescription drugs. Unlike brand companies, generic manufacturers compete directly on price, resulting in lower prices for consumers. Generics have saved Americans $2.2 trillion over the last decade.

Further Reading

CVS, “Switching to a Generic Could Help You Save

HealthSmart, “Generic vs. Brand Medications

HuffPost, “The Truth About Generic Vs. Brand-Name Medications

Scientific American, “What's the difference between brand-name and generic prescription drugs?

WebMD, “Generic Drugs: Answers to Common Questions


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Erica Klinger

By Erica Klinger, AAM Marketing Director





Raise awareness of all the special people and things that are essential to our lives – like generic medicines (a/k/a GRx). For every like, comment & share of a #4GRxANTED video the generic industry will donate prescription medicines via Direct Relief to those in need. Learn More.


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