Drug Policy

Generic Drugs

  • What are generics and why are they relatively cheaper than their brand names equivalents?
  • Which are the Generic Drugs?
  • Generic drug (generic drugs, short: generics) is a medication which is produced and distributed without patent protection. The generic medication may still have a patent on the formula but not about the active ingredient. An generic must contain the same active ingredients as the first formula.
  • Why are they relatively much cheaper than their original brands?

Patented medicine is more expensive because:

Complex brand-name pills require great amounts of money (from hundreds of millions of dollar to billions) and time (almost 10-15 years).
Advertising and advertising techniques are rather costly as well.

The maker then has to compensate its expenses. This is the reason why the price for patented medicines is so high. When generic products become available, the market competition often leads to substantially lower prices for both the original brand name product and the generic forms. The time that it takes a generic drug to appear on the market varies. In the US, drug patents provide twenty years of protection, but they’re employed for prior clinical trials begin, so the effective life of a drug patent tends to be between seven and twelve years. It has been estimated that the average cost to brand-name drug companies of discovering and testing a new innovative medication (using a new chemical entity) may be as much as $ 800 million however the accurate costs as estimated by Goozner (in his book, The $800 Million Dollar Pill) is closer to $100-$200 million.

Brand-name drug companies have used lots of strategies to extend the period of market exclusivity in their drugs, and prevent generic competition. This may involve aggressive litigation to preserve or expand patent coverage on their medicines, a process known by critics as ‘evergreening.’ Patents are typically issued on book pharmacological compounds rather early in the drug development process, at which time the ‘clock’ to patent expiry begins ticking. Later in the process, drug companies may seek new patents on the production of specific forms of these compounds, such as single enantiomers of drugs that could exist in either “left-handed” and “right-handed” forms,different inactive components in a drug saltor a specific hydrate hydrate form of the drug salt. If allowed, these patents “reset the clock” on patent expiration. These sorts of patents may afterwards be targeted at invalidation by generic drug manufacturers.

Generic pills are cheaper because:

The production doesn’t require a brand new formula or production technology (existing ones are used instead by reverse-engineer known drug compounds).Generic pills are bio-equivalents of the newest drugs and so they do not need the additional advertising. In fact they receive the benefit of the previous marketing efforts of this brand-name medication company, such as media advertising, presentations by drug representatives, and distribution of free samples.Generic manufacturers also do not bear the burden of proving the safety and efficacy of these drugs through clinical trials, since these trials have already been conducted by the brand name firm.

That is the reason why generic pills are cheaper and are so popular. These save the patients and insurance companies substantial costs