Did you know that many Americans end up skipping doses of their medications due to their ever-rising costs? It’s no secret that buying medication is expensive, and this puts people at risk.
If you’ve ever tried to save money on your own necessary medications, you’ve likely looked at a brand-name drug next to a generic drug and wondered if there was any significant difference. When you can get a generic version for so much cheaper, why would you buy the “real deal?”
We’re here to talk about it so you can decide between a brand-name vs generic medication. Read on to learn more.
Ingredients: Are Brand-Name Drugs Better?
The most important thing that you can take away from this article is that brand-name medications and generic medications have the same active ingredients.
This means that, for example, your Prozac would have the same active ingredients as fluoxetine (its generic SSRI counterpart). The biggest difference in ingredients is going to be the fillers.
Active ingredients must be the same for the medication to be sold in the United States. Inactive ingredients can vary as long as they don’t impact the effect of the medication.
For most people, this isn’t a problem. Filler ingredients may impact how some people absorb medication, but they won’t usually be noticeable.
Some people may react to certain filler ingredients in adverse ways. They may cause uncommon side effects. This isn’t because the generic medication is worse, it’s a result of the medication being incompatible with the person who is taking it.
There are often several varieties of generic medication for each brand-name medication. If one doesn’t work for you, another might be better.
Understanding the Brand-Name Drug Bias
So if the medications are almost exactly the same on every level aside from the name and some of the filler ingredients, why is there such a substantial bias toward brand-name medication amongst medical professionals and average people alike?
In the United States, drug companies spend a lot of money on advertising (which is unusual). When you hear a name of a brand over and over again, it’s going to stick in your head and it’s more likely that you’ll request it from your doctor.
Doctors, who don’t have to pay for the high cost of prescriptions, may opt for the brand-name option out of habit unless the patient requests the generic drug. Many insurance companies won’t cover brand-name medication, so this request is often necessary.
Generic drugs have a bad reputation, but the right generic might be the best medication for you. A drug isn’t useful if you can’t afford it. Click for more information about saving money on medications.
So: Brand-Name or Generic?
There’s nothing wrong with buying a brand-name drug if you can afford it, but if you’re tight on cash, ask your doctor about prescribing the generic version instead. For most people, the difference in ingredients is negligible, but the cost difference is substantial.
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