If you have at least 1 elder family member at your home having some sort of chronic condition and they are supposed to eat medicines on a daily basis, you have probably come across the terms Branded Medicines and Generic Medicines. Ever wondered what are they?
Today, we will discuss the basic as well as the major difference between generic and branded medicines.
All medicines have 2 names –
Brand name – It’s the name given by the pharma company which develops and manufactures the medicine.
Generic name – It’s the active ingredient of the medicine.
What is the Branded Medicines?
Let us example branded medicine, with the help of an example –
Heard about DOLO-650? Well, the name ‘Dolo’ is the brand name, the active ingredient in Dolo-650 is ‘Paracetamol’ and so paracetamol is the generic name and 650 is nothing but the strength of paracetamol in that tablet. So, Dolo-650 or Crocin for instance are branded medicines with a certain active ingredient.
What are Generic Medicines?
Generic medicines are medicines that might not have a brand name but they do have the active ingredient in them. Taking from the above example, the generic medicine will have the active ingredient ‘paracetamol’ in it but it will come without any brand name or value. In layman’s terms, we can say it’s a copy of branded medicine.
For instance, you go to a chemist shop complaining about fever and they would give you a generic medicine that might have the active ingredient ‘paracetamol’ in it that isn’t Dolo-650 or Crocin but effectively does the same work
What are the Major Differences between Branded Medicines and Generic Medicines that you need to know?
Branded Medicines are Research Based, While Generic Medicines are their Pharmaceutical Equivalent
Branded medicines are research products which is manufactured by the visionary pharma company after conducting several human and animal trials, and then of course getting various approvals for the same. Oftentimes, companies even patent them for a few years which helps them to recover their research cost.
However, once the patent of the branded medicine is over, the same company and even other companies can manufacture the generic version of those medicines. When it comes to their branded counterpart, generic drugs are equivalent to them in terms of dosage strength and intended use.
Branded Medicines VS Generic Medicines: Generic May Have Inactive Ingredients as Well
Along with active ingredients, the pharmaceutical equivalent of branded medicine might even contain certain inactive ingredients such as binding materials i.e., preservatives, flavoring agents, or dyes. These inactive ingredients are safe and are known to facilitate the transportation of the medicine into the body. However, certain people might be allergic to certain inactive ingredients, and so they are often told to go with generic medicines that are preservative or color-free.
Branded Medicines Are Expensive While Generic Comes Cheap – Know the Reason
You might have thought, ‘Why Generic Medicines are quite cheap than Branded drugs?”
Well because –
Branded medicines are developed after research, trials, and approvals and all of this adds to the cost to the company. On other hand, generic medicines do not have to spend a hefty amount on the development of the drug. This brings down the cost of generic medicines.
Branded medicines are marketed and promoted by the company via doctors, and chemists, which again adds up to the cost of medicines. On the other hand, generic medicines are not promoted via doctors so they do not incur much of the marketing cost.
Medicinal products or not, these days around 60% of the cost goes into marketing which actually makes the products all the more expensive. Here, in this case, generic medicine saves on that cost and so they are almost 60 to 80% less than their branded counterparts when it comes to their price. This is the reason why most people have chronic conditions and through proper consultation with their doctors and surgeons shift to generic medicine to reduce their monthly billing on medicines.
However, one must note – Not all medications will have a generic version.