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River Pharmacy - Your Neighborhood Drugstore Online

Frequently Asked Questions

Are generic medications the same as 'brand name' drugs?

Short Answer

Yes, medications that are manufactured by name brand companies may look different from the generic versions, but they contain the same active ingredients.

Long Answer

When discussing generic vs. brand name medications, there are usually a few things to remember:

  • Medical research, development, and promotion cost money so drug manufacturers can patent their medications to protect their investments.
  • Drug manufacturing companies are in a multi-billion dollar industry and will work very hard at keeping their profit margins as high as possible for as long as possible.
  • Generic medications must meet the same government guidelines as their brand name counterparts and include the same active ingredients and be biologically equivalent in every way.
  • Generic medication does not have the same marketing, research and development, and similar overhead. This allows for much lower margins and therefore lower prices for consumers.

In terms of effectiveness, they are exactly the same. Brand name drugs may cost more because of the marketing, research, and promotion that the drug manufacturer puts into the product.

The generic medication we sell online is of the same quality and potency that we sell along side our brand name medications in our physical pharmacies.

It is good to note that in most countries a doctor will prescribe a name brand medication by default (either by habit, pressure from drug companies, etc.), but the pharmacist can fill your prescription with any generic medication as long as it is the correct equivalent. This can save you significant amounts of money.

Once a patent runs out on a drug, some drug companies may continue to market the name brand drug (leveraging the brand awareness) while also offering a generic of their own medication, thus attracting the audience of people who are comparing prices.

Additional Information

Brand-name vs. Generic Drugs: Is One Better Than the Other? (MayoClinic.com)

Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand Names? (MedicineNet.com)

Controlling Costs (bcbsm.com)

Brand-Name Drug Companies Versus Generics: Lobbying and Campaign Contributions (Citizen.org)

Generic versus brand-name drugs (GoAskAslice.Columbia.edu)

Facts about Generic Drugs (FDA.gov)

Generic drugs: don't ask, just tell (Harvard.edu)