The FDA requires that generic drugs must be as high in quality, and as strong, pure and stable as brand-name drugs. Generic drugs use the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs and work the same way. They have the same risks and the same benefits as the brand-name drugs. Generic versions of brand medicines are usually at a savings to consumers of 30% to as much as 80%. By asking your doctor or pharmacist if there is a generic version of your prescription, you can reduce your health care costs while receiving the same quality of care.
Trademark laws may not allow generic drugs to look exactly the same as another drug already on the market. For that reason, the color and shape of a generic pill may be different than the brand-name. Sometimes it will have a different coating or flavor. These "inert ingredients" also are carefully considered by the FDA. Differences in taste or appearance do not affect the drug's safety or effectiveness.
Branded generics are not always as affordable as a true generic. By sporting a brand name, some consumers may incorrectly assume that the branded generic is a higher quality product than a true generic, but that is not usually the case. However, branded generics may be less expensive than the original brand.
Generics sold under license from the patent holder are known as authorized generics. An authorized generic is an exact copy of the brand name version authorized by the original patent holder of the drug product. An authorized generic is a prescription drug that is produced by a brand company and marketed as a generic under a private label. It is identical to the branded product in appearance (shape, color, markings) and unlike a generic, the authorized generic has exactly the same inactive ingredients.
In most cases, 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.
Generic drugs sales accounts for 88% of the the total drugs sales, in USA.
Recently, a generic medical shop was opened in my neighborhood in Hyderabad and my family's monthly medical bill has come down to one third i.e from Rs.3,000 to Rs.1,000. As a retired person, monthly saving of Rs.2,000 is impressive.