• University of Phoenix
    As the leading online school in the nation, Phoneix University offers various pharmacology online courses to take in your own time.
  • KAPLAN University
    One of the largest online universities with a widely recognized name, Kaplan University offers a myriad of online pharmacology courses that fit your schedule.
There a Difference in Pharmacology of Generic and Name Brand Drugs?
by admin on: February 22nd, 2011

Generally speaking a “name brand,” or proprietary drug, is more expensive than a generic drug. For example, if you wanted to buy medicine to treat a headache, you could buy Tylenol or a generic supermarket brand of acetaminophen. Tylenol will almost always be more expensive than the generic drug. Why? Historically, the pharmaceutical company that produces the drug spent a great deal of money in developing the drug. In fact, it may take over ten years before testing each drug is complete, and ready to be submitted for approval.

Companies that develop drugs are eligible to submit a patent for their drug, thereby protecting themselves from other companies taking the formula of the developed drug and producing it themselves. More money is then spent to market the drug. However, once the patent expires, it is possible for other companies to manufacture and sell the “new” drug. Each drug company that wants to manufacture a generic drug must submit an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Pharmacologically speaking, the answer is “no.” A generic drug (Equate acetaminophen, for example) is identical to a brand name drug (Tylenol) in dosage, quality, performance, and use indications. Generic drugs undergo the same level of scrutiny and must be approved by the FDA before they can be sold. In addition, all states have laws that address the substitution of a generic drug for a name brand.

Some states have more specific laws that govern the substitution???for example; Oklahoma has a law that states a pharmacist cannot substitute a generic drug for a brand name drug without permission from the consumer. Thus, while there may be anecdotal evidence suggesting that a generic drug is less effective, or a prescribing physician may opine that a brand name is more “effective,” the ingredients are the same???generic drugs are just less expensive.


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