The Differences between Brand-Name and Generic Drugs

by Samit Patel on May 23, 2022

Medications not available in generic form are costly. The average price of a brand-name prescription drug is 100 times that of its generic counterpart. However, brand-name drugs are not always available in a generic form since they can be patented, and their patents mean they cannot be duplicated. As a result, generic drugs are the most accessible and cheaper options for people.

Do Generic Medicines Work the Same as Brand-Name Medicines?

Generic drugs have the same active ingredient as brand-name drugs. This may affect your health, but the drug may not be identical to the brand-name version. For instance, a generic drug may not have the same inactive ingredients as the brand-name drug, making it more likely to cause side effects.

Branded drugs are slightly different from generic drugs in that they have a different inactive ingredient, and brand-name drugs have to have the same active ingredient in the same amount and dosage as the generic drug. Generic drugs equivalent to brand-name drugs are sometimes used as a lower-cost alternative.

Are Generic Medicines Safe?

Generic drugs are just as safe as their brand-name counterparts. When prescribed a medication, your doctor will consider how well the drug is tolerated. However, your doctor’s decision to prescribe a brand-name drug over a generic one will depend on your particular medical needs.

If you are taking a brand-name drug, you may be more likely to ensure you understand how to take the drug. This can help prevent complications when taking the drug. Your doctor may also be less likely to check your reaction to the drug if it is in brand-name form. If you feel that something is not right with your medication, you should always talk with your doctor.

Why Are Generic Medicines Less Expensive?

Drug manufacturers face no competition when they create a brand-name drug. Because they do not have any competition, they can name their price on the medication. Generic drug manufacturers must make a similar drug to the brand-name drug. They often create their own formulas and test them the same way that brand-name drugs are tested. Generic drug manufacturers must prove that they are developing a drug as good as the brand-name drug.

When the FDA approves a drug, the original brand-name drug manufacturers are given several years that they can sell the drug without any competitors. Once the number of years is up, the drug is allowed to be sold by any drug manufacturer, who will have the same formula as the original brand-name manufacturer but at a lower cost.

Do Generic Medicines Take Longer to Work in the Body?

Generic drugs are just as effective as brand-name drugs. They also have the same effects on the body, but they may work at different speeds and leave you feeling different. While the active ingredient in both types of drugs is the same, there can be some significant differences in how they work in the body. Most of these differences are due to the inactive ingredients added after the drug is made.


Generic drugs are often used as a lower-cost alternative to brand-name drugs. Their lower prices are that drug manufacturers do not have to compete when they create their brand-name drugs. However, generic drugs are just as safe as brand-name drugs. They are also just as effective, with most of the differences between the two drugs being caused by inactive ingredients.

Unichem Greenhithe Pharmacy offers a range of treatments and options for you to achieve the best health solutions. Our pharmacists have training from the Australian College of Nutritional and Environmental medicine, so we can proudly say that we understand medicines and how supplements can complement your health. Our team here at Greenhithe are passionate about healthy living and believes that your and your family's health is essential. If you’re looking for a health and wellness clinic in New Zealand, we’ve got you covered! Get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help!