As I was on the phone with one of my customers today, we were looking up a price for Renova (a medication that helps with the treatment of acne and other skin conditions). When I looked up the price for her, she was stunned at the fact the generic, Tretinoin, was only $7.37 with the Discount Drug Network Prescription Card at CVS. She wanted to know the price of the brand name. With the DDN Card it is $247.13 at the same pharmacy. Just by purchasing the generic drug, the customer is saving about $240.00. Then she went on to ask me “What is the difference between the generic and the Brand?” My response was “The only difference between the generic and the brand name drug is the price. “ When ending the phone call with the customer, the conversation got me thinking… What are the differences between generic and brand name drugs?
According to Melissa Stopper who wrote Generic Drugs Are They as Good as the Brand Name, defines generics as exact replicas of brand name drugs; they have same dosage, intended use, side effects, route of administration, risks, safety, and strength as the brand name drug. Why are many Americans concerned with taking generic drugs? If they have the same chemical makeup at a lower price there should not be any concern. In the example that was used earlier, there was about a $240.00 price difference. Many Americans believe that the generic drug is cheaper because it is made differently and it is not as strong as the Brand name counterparts. Stopper writes that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all generic drugs be as safe and effective as the Brand Name.
The Cost of Generic and Brand Name Drugs Are They the Same?
Generic drugs can be significantly cheaper because the manufacturers do not have to spend as much money on the marketing aspects, claims Stopper. When a brand-new drug comes out, the manufacturers spend an abundant amount of money marketing and advertising to doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and consumers. In order for a drug to be sold, a patent needs to be given first pending the approval of the FDA. When the generic drugs are released, the manufactures are skipping all of the marketing, and advertising parts and going straight to inexpensive manufacturing. When a patent nears expiration, competing manufacturing companies can ask the FDA to make and sell the generic—making the medication cost drop significantly in price.
The most common myths about generic drugs are that the quality of the drugs are poor, they don’t work as well and that the medications take longer to work. Before any kind of medication is sold in a pharmacy the FDA has to approve it, which is why the statements above are false. When looking at a generic drug it might be a different size, texture or color. Do not let that fool you, those medications have to have the same effectiveness before the FDA approves them. The FDA has these guidelines and regulations so that we the customers are getting what we pay for. When you are at your doctor’s office always make sure to ask if there is a generic form of the medication being prescribed. You will not regret the savings. DDN is always here to help our customers save money, and don’t forget to utilize our pricing tool, our customer support staff and the most important thing The Prescription Discount Card. DDN is here to put money back in your pockets!