What does Generic mean?
Generic drugs are produced and distributed without patent protection. A generic contains the same active ingredients as the brand pills and is identified by its chemical name rather than its brand name. Generics are considered bioequivalent to the brand name counterpart with respect to pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. Therefore, generics are identical to brand pills in dose, strength, route of administration, safety, efficacy, and intended use.
Why are generic drugs cheaper than the brand name ones?
Most new drugs, when they are first introduced are patent-protected by the government for 17 years. Other companies cannot sell that drug during that time. This allows the company that developed the drug to sell it exclusively and make back the research money that was spent to develop it. When the patent runs out, drug companies can apply to the Food and Drug Administration to sell generic versions of the drug. And because they don’t need to worry about investment costs, the competing companies can sell their products at a much lower price.