Generic Medications

A generic drug is a pharmaceutical drug that is equivalent to a brand-name product in dosage, strength, route of administration, quality, performance, and intended use, but does not carry the brand name. The generic drug has the same active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) as the original, but may differ in characteristics such as manufacturing process, formulation, excipients, color, taste, and packaging. Although they may not be associated with a particular company, generic drugs are usually subject to government regulations in the countries where they are dispensed. Generic products become available after the patent protections afforded to a drug’s original developer expire. Once generic drugs enter the market, competition often leads to substantially lower prices for both the original brand-name product and its generic equivalents. In most countries, patents give 20 years of protection. However, many countries and regions, such as the European Union and the United States, may grant up to five years of additional protection (“patent term restoration”) if manufacturers meet specific goals, such as conducting clinical trials for paediatric patients. Manufacturers, wholesalers, insurers, and drugstores can each increase prices at various stages of production and distribution