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What is the difference between a generic and a brand name drug?

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Our question this week was:

Dr Debra – I hope this isn't the dumbest question you ever were asked but...what is the difference between a generic and a brand name drug?

Jennie.


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking this question "What is the difference between a generic and a brand name drug?"

A generic drug is a drug approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a substitute as a result of the expiration of the original patent on the brand name drug.

Several different companies can manufacture the generic drug. An example would be Pepcid™ which is commonly used in human and veterinary medicine. It is a drug that decreases gastric acid secretion. The brand name was Pepcid® and its generic name is Famotidine. Famotidine is available by many different manufacturers including a Wal-Mart label and many other labels.

Generic drugs are less expensive and essentially the same as the brand name equivalents.

Dr. Debra

P.S. That was a great question.




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