Great-West Life – Generic vs. brand name drugs

Great-West Life – Generic vs. brand name drugs

If you’ve been prescribed any medication lately, it’s likely you’ve taken a generic drug. In 2013, 66% of prescriptions in Canada were filled
with a generic equivalent of a brand name drug. Many employers who include
drug coverage in their benefits plan encourage staff to use generics
because they’re more cost effective. With generics becoming more common –
you may have some questions. Are generic drugs as effective as
their brand name counterparts? Yes. Health Canada regulates all
generic drugs sold. In order for a generic version to be approved, it must include the same medicinal ingredients
as the brand name version, and meet the same requirements for the rate
and amount absorbed into the body, ensuring the two are equally effective. Do generics contain different ingredients
than their brand name equivalents? Yes, while the actual medicine is the same,
non-active ingredients like fillers or colouring – which don’t change the drug’s
effectiveness – can vary. Quality of ingredients is regulated. In many cases, companies who
make generic drugs buy both their active and non-active ingredients from the same
suppliers as their brand name counterparts. Is there a reason why generics cost so much less? Yes, drug companies spend a lot of
money developing new products. Once a drug is approved, the company has exclusive rights
to manufacture and sell it for a period of time. When the patent expires, other companies
can produce generic versions. Since generic manufacturers don’t have to invest
as much in research and development, the manufacturing price can be much lower. This, combined with competition in the industry, results in generics that can cost as little
as 20% of the brand name equivalent. More generics will be introduced
to the marketplace as patents expire – with great potential for saving on
drug costs for you and your employer. If you’re taking a brand name drug
and there’s a generic alternative, switching to the generic where
possible can save you money and help keep the drug plan affordable for everyone.

One comment

  1. Learn that if u are harmed by generic drugs u do not have the right to sue the manufacturer!
    However, if u take the exact same pill from a brand name manufacturer you have the right to sue for damages! FORGET GENERIC ASK THE Supreme Court

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