Brand-name medications

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Brand-name vs. generic medications: Which is best?

By Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD


Dr. Crutchfield, I went to pick up a prescription and instead of the brand-name drug my doctor prescribed, the pharmacy gave me a generic drug. Is this ok?  

The vast majority of patients experience the same results from a brand or a generic medication. That being said, it is unclear to doctors why, rarely, patients report they respond better or differently to either a brand-name medicine or a generic medicine when they are equivalent. In fact, brand-name drugs and generic drugs have the same active ingredients in the same exact amounts. The term for this is “bioequivalent.” Some patients are unaware they have the same active ingredients and can get confused. 

Brand-name medicines almost always cost more than generic drugs, and some people mistakenly think that if it costs more, it must work better. Some attribute this to the “placebo effect.” Sometimes the cost difference can be so significant that unless a generic is used, the patient could not afford the medicine. Continue Reading →

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