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Take The Generic Advantage

Designer Viagra® or generic Viagra. Who needs a name brand drug when you can buy the same prescription for less? Generic drugs are stealing the spotlight with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Achieving the same results with generics for the lowest price is rapidly becoming the American way for curtailing medical expenses. As the FDA is improving the availability of generic prescriptions, generics are the safe approach to getting more value for your money.

Recently, FDA Commissioner, Dr. Mark McClellan announced a final rule to lower drug costs for millions of Americans by improving access to generic drugs. Generically speaking, a generic drug contains the same ingredients as a brand-name drug. Its performance, safety, dosage, strength and quality are a copycat version for the intended use. The new ruling will save Americans over $35 billion in drug costs for the next 10 years.

Moreover, the FDA requires generic drugs to have the same purity and stability as brand-name drugs. Since generics use the same active ingredients and are shown to work the same way in the body, they have the same risks and benefits as their brand-name counterparts. In fact, brand-name retailers are affiliated with 49 percent of generic drug production. They frequently make copies of their own or other brand-name drugs and sell them without the brand name.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, generic drugs save consumers an estimated $8 billion to $10 billion a year at retail pharmacies. The difference between brand name drugs and generics is minimal. Trademark laws do not allow a generic drug to look identical to the brand-name drug. Although, a generic drug must duplicate the active ingredient, its colors, flavors, and inactive ingredients are different.

While generic drugs may be cheaper than brand-name drugs, they aren't inferior. Under the strict guidelines of the FDA, generics are considered the "bioequivalent." They are deemed the safe and effective alternatives to most brand-name drugs. Used in 44 percent of all dispensed prescriptions, generic drugs are the cost effective and healthy alternative for millions of Americans. When it comes to using safe medication, taking generics does not mean compromising quality. Take the generic advantage.