{Infographic} Generic vs. brand drugs – Are they different?

Getting a prescription filled is something we are all familiar with. But when your doctor is writing you a prescription, do you think to ask for the generic version of the drug that is being prescribed?

In case you didn’t realize it, generic versions of brand name drugs are not all that different. Check out our infographic below to learn more.

Generic vs. Brand Drugs

Click on the image to view it larger.

Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administration

19 thoughts on “{Infographic} Generic vs. brand drugs – Are they different?

  1. I am also using generic prescription medication, strictly because of the cost. It is ridiculous for drug manufacturers to charge the amount they are for name brand medications. I agree they have to recuperate the cost for testing a new drug, but to continue to charge hundreds of dollars for medications that cost them pennies to produce is unfair and should be considered criminal. Health Care all together has become a detrimental drain on the finances of the elderly after they are forced on fixed incomes and strict budgets after putting the best years of their life working and providing for their families and others. Why do we allow money to be the determining factor in how people survive in this country? Sooner people live on scraps while others live in luxury. I’m in the middle and still feel bad about those that have less.

  2. While appreciate the courtesy you are trying to extend, this is ABSOLUTELY not the case for all medications. I trusted this advice from BCBS a few years ago and it was to the detriment of my son’s health. There are several articles available from reliable sources stating that some generic drugs are being made with more fillers vs the actual medication. One might be concerned that this is a way for certain pharmaceutical companies to cut cost while increasing profit. I would like to suggest that you survey your customers to get real experiences and opinions before sending out information that is potentially harmful.

  3. I was placed on a generic drug and my response to it was not what the doctor hoped it would be. My doctor then placed me on the brand name drug and I did better. My issue is… The generic cost me $54 a month. The brand name cost $978 a month. That is a steep difference! The pills look identical. I can’t tell the generic from the brand name in just looking at them. On my 2nd round of the brand name drug I again wasn’t responding as well. My husban and I think we are paying $978 for the brand name but are being given the generic. As I said, they look identical. How can we be certain we are getting the brand name drug???

    1. All of my present prescriptions are generic. My doctor is really good about prescribing generic medications.

  4. I use a generic alternative whenever available and my pharmacist approves of it. It is safe, effective and more affordable.

  5. They’ve rather give us generic cuz it’s cheaper but then again the side effects is very severe in my case and doesn’t have any effect on me

  6. I would have to disagree with you. Notice how the description above says generic’s have to “perform approximately”….this is where patients are getting into trouble !! I had a very unfortunate experience that cost Blue Cross and Blue Shield over $12,000 in unnecessary tests because I received a generic drug VS a brand-name from a pharmacy that switched it. My prescription was for a “brand name” ONLY and it was filled with a generic substitution. There is not enough time to go into detail about how this ruined my life for over six months!! You have to be very careful when switching to a generic drug and make sure that they do blood tests to titrate certain medications because generics are NOT always equivalent to brand names in some drugs. I was fortunate to get the “Brand Name Medicine” back and instantly I felt better. Sometimes medicine’s are not therapeutically equivalent!! Be very cautious and communicate with your doctor if you plan on switching from a brand name drug to a generic substitution or a different brand name. Some medicines will work fine in the “generic form” but you need to be aware that it can cause severe side effects switching between different brands or to generic drugs!! My medication was Synthroid and I got Levothyroxine-generic brand. At the time this happened there was no generic substitution for Synthroid but there is now. I have to ask myself…”Will insurance companies and pharmacies sacrifice people’s health for money?” I believe the answer is YES!! I bet most of you didn’t know that pharmacies have what they call PBM’s, which stands for “Pharmacy Benefit Manager’s” and their job is to make sure that the pharmacy has the largest profit margin with the drugs that that they fill prescriptions with. It’s a very slippery slope when you don’t take your own healthcare seriously and do your own research before you make big decisions like this. Switching to a generic drug could cause serious health effects!! Some questions you might ask …
    – Is the “generic” therapeutically equivalent?
    – Do I need to have further blood tests to make sure my levels stay the same ?(yes you do!!)
    – Are there different side effects with the generic versus the brand-name ?
    Are there certain classes of drugs that are not therapeutically equivalent? (Yes there are!!)
    I hope this post saves someone from the pain that I was caused from a switch to a generic drug!! I really wanted to get my message out because I believe there are several people that have thyroid problems that have been diagnosed with “fibromyalgia” or similar symptoms and simply got switched to “generic drugs” by pharmacies or their physician and they are suffering needlessly. I hope this has shed some light to a very serious epidemic that I think is happening in our country. In the end, I think it’s all about money$$. The odd thing to me is …”how much money is Blue Cross and Blue Shield paying out in unnecessary testing because they are promoting switching to generic drugs without careful precautions for the patients, doctors and pharmacist’s??” Please be careful on your healthcare journey….because your well-being or your life might be at risk!!

    1. Is there a way to tell if I am indeed getting the “name brand” drug I’m paying for? I’m paying $920 dollars more for a brand name drug that looks “identical” to the generic. We feel we’re getting ripped off.

    2. generic and name brand are the same thing period..the price is the only difference…it’s like paying for Advil or
      Motrin instead of buying the cheaper Equate brand of ibuprofen…they are all ibuprofen the difference is the first two are nearly twice the price because you pay for the name on the box and some fancier packaging. The entire article is on the fact that generic is the same as name brand in every way except for it being at a lower price.. let me put it another way if generic doesn’t work then name brand won’t work either.. some people get it in their heads that if they are getting the generic version they are getting sub par medication which is why it costs less. This isn’t true but can cause a reverse placebo effect, there for a Dr will prescribe the name brand and let the person pay more for the same thing rather than wasting their time trying to explain that the generic is the same as the brand name. You either need a new Dr or if your one of those people that constantly questions your Dr acting like you know even close to as much as they do then you need to quit questioning your Dr. A common cause for Dr’s to switch only from generic to name brand is when a patient keeps acting like they know more than their doctor because they googled some stuff. If changing a med from generic to name brand caused an adverse reaction no pharmacy or Dr would do so because whom ever made the switch would be liable for the adverse reaction..simply put if there was a difference it’d be to risky to switch between them anyone saying different is full of shit and doesn’t understand what actually caused their adverse reaction.

  7. I will check with my pharmacist. I know I do have a generic blood pressure med, I will check on others. Thanks

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