Buying into generic drugs

It is amazing how something so small can cost so much. Whether it is a short-term treatment, or multiple drugs you take indefinitely, prescription drugs have the potential to drain your savings. However, there are many cheaper generic versions of more expensive brand-name drugs. In fact, almost 80% of prescriptions are for generic drugs, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and on average they cost about 80% to 85% less than brand names. Odds are there is generic version to treat your condition, too, whether it is chronic pain, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, or depression. But is there a difference between generic and name brand other than price? To better understand this, you have look at how drugs are made, manufactured, and prescribed. Types of generic drugs There are two ways generic drugs are used: generic substitution and therapeutic interchange. Generic substitution means the drug is the equivalent to a brand name on a molecular level. “In terms of effectiveness and quality they are the same, and the FDA has certified both are equal,” says Dr. Niteesh K. Choudhry, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Choudhry’s research focuses on strategies to improve health care quality and reduce spending. An example is the cholesterol drug Lipitor and the generic version atorvastatin. Therapeutic interchange is slightly different. The generic is a medical substitute that is molecular related, but ...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Drugs and Supplements Health care Managing your health care Source Type: news

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