A generic version of a drug is a variation of a brand-name drug that has the exact same effectiveness, quality, safety, and strength, but at a much lower price. Under a different name, generic drugs can provide you and your family the medicines they need a a cheaper cost. Generics exist for many different types of medicine and are available at your regular pharmacy.
There are two main differences between a generic drug and a name-brand drug. First, the biggest difference and the best benefit lies in the drastic price difference. Second, your generic drugs may look a little different than its brand-name counterpart. Cheaper prescription drugs are a huge convenience to families who have been struggling with prescription medication costs, as well as for those who have been struggling with a chronic disease. A generic recently came out for the medicine I take, and being able to get it for a small fraction of the formerly high price is a huge relief. However, not every brand-name has a generic form. Generic forms are created when the patent for the brand-name drug has run out of time, so if your medication is generally pretty new, a generic may not be coming out for a while.
Many attribute the lower price of generics to a lower quality. This couldn’t be more wrong. Besides the cost, generics have minimal differences that very rarely affect the taker. The only differences reside in shape and color, which may minimally alter the release time and taste of your medicine, but they do not alter the effectiveness or strength of your medication. The only reason generic drugs are cheaper is because the research and advertising costs have already been paid for by the name-brand, allowing the generic to not have to spend money on advertising or marketing. Generic drugs are required by law to have the same chemical formula and the same active ingredients, but if you have side effects that you attribute to the generic form of your medication, be sure to talk to your doctor about it.
Surprisingly, if you have insurance that covers your prescription costs, buying the name-brand may actually be cheaper than the generic. Insurance companies talk to the manufacturers of medicines and negotiate for better prices for their customers and create a list of preferable medicines. Talk to your doctor and see if the generic version of your medicine is an option, and then call up your insurance company and ask which is a better value for you.