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How Good Are Generic Meds Compared to Branded

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Generic medicines are becoming increasingly popular. This is especially true when it comes to treating conditions like erectile dysfunction (ED). 

This article takes a closer look at whether generic options, specifically generic Viagra and Cialis, are just as good as the original, more expensive versions.

Are generic medicines the same as branded medicines?

With a growing number of online erectile dysfunction medications, the choice between generic and branded medications is getting tough. Generic medicines function similarly to their brand-name counterparts, though distinctions exist.

Each medicine possesses dual identities:

  • A brand name is attributed to the pharmaceutical company marketing the drug.
  • A generic name representing the active ingredient responsible for its efficacy.

Initially, when a novel active ingredient emerges, a patent safeguards it for several years. This legal right permits the company to recoup development or acquisition costs.

During the patent duration, competing firms cannot market a comparable medicine containing the same active ingredient. Once the patent lapses, other companies can create generics based on that ingredient. Numerous brand names might share the identical active ingredient as the original medicine.

However, generic medicines might vary from the brand-name version in terms of:

  • Physical characteristics like shape, size, and color
  • Packaging
  • ‘Inactive ingredients’ that don’t influence the therapeutic effects of the medicine

Viagra vs generic Viagra

Viagra is the go-to medication for ED, and it contains the active ingredient sildenafil citrate. When the patent for Viagra expired, it opened the door for generic versions with the same active ingredient, like sildenafil. Studies have shown that generic Viagra works just as well in treating ED. It helps by increasing blood flow to the “important” area, making it easier to get and keep an erection.

Cialis vs generic Cialis

Similar to Viagra, Cialis is known for being effective for a more extended period. Cialis contains tadalafil. When the patent for Cialis ran out, generic versions with the same active ingredient, such as tadalafil, became available. Generic Cialis has proven to be just as effective in dealing with ED. It works by relaxing muscles in blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow to where it matters.

Do generic drugs function similarly to brand-name counterparts?

When considering generic drugs, some may draw parallels to generic cereals that lack flavor or become soggy quickly, often seen as imitations of the original. But generic drugs are distinct.

Generics are designed to operate in the same manner as brand-name drugs. They contain the identical active ingredient and are equivalent to brand-name medications concerning:

  • Quality
  • Dosage (quantity and frequency of administration)
  • Strength
  • Route of administration (method of intake)

For instance, an amphetamine salt combo serves as the generic equivalent of Adderall. It is a medication addressing attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Both drugs are available in matching strengths, prescribed in equivalent quantities, and carry identical instructions for usage. The same holds for metformin, the generic alternative to Glucophage, a drug for treating type 2 diabetes.

Are generic drugs less effective?

No, generic medications are as effective as their brand-name counterparts. According to the FDA, manufacturers must show that generic drugs can substitute brand-name drugs and deliver similar benefits.

In many instances, substituting a generic drug for a brand name yields the same results.

Why do brand-name drugs cost more than generics?

Several factors contribute to this price disparity.

Firstly, manufacturers of brand-name drugs must conduct costly clinical trials to verify the drug’s safety and efficacy, passing on some of these expenses to consumers.

Secondly, while a single manufacturer sells a brand-name drug, numerous companies usually offer the same generic drug, fostering market competition and lowering consumer costs.

How much more affordable are generic drugs?

Generic drugs typically cost approximately 80% to 85% less than their brand-name counterparts. According to a study, generic drugs saved the U.S. healthcare system $1.67 trillion from 2007 to 2016.

How can I differentiate between them?

Distinguishing between generic and brand-name drugs is relatively straightforward. Due to trademark laws, generic and brand-name medications must have distinct appearances. Often, the generic drug’s name matches the active ingredient.

Differences between the generic and brand versions may include:

  • Shape
  • Color
  • Packaging
  • Flavorings
  • Inactive ingredients

But these variations do not imply that a generic drug is less effective or operates differently than a brand-name drug.

Are generic drugs safe?

Yes, generic drugs undergo rigorous regulation and extensive review before approval. The FDA examines them to ensure they offer the same benefits as brand-name medications. They also make sure no different ingredients used are safe. The FDA then assesses the drug’s container durability, shelf life, and the manufacturer’s consistency in production. Approval is granted only if the drug meets all safety requirements.

Following approval, the FDA routinely inspects the manufacturing facility and monitors the drug for safety concerns. If individuals using a generic drug experience adverse reactions, the FDA investigates. The manufacturer may need to modify the drug’s production or usage procedures.

Do generic drugs compromise on quality?

It’s a common misconception that generic drugs compromise on quality compared to brand-name drugs. In truth, generic drugs are required to meet the same strict quality standards as brand-name drugs to receive approval from regulatory bodies like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

They need to demonstrate they are bioequivalent to the brand-name drug. This means they have the same amount of the same active ingredient, and their absorption and effects in the body are comparable.

Manufacturing facilities for both brand-name and generic drugs are inspected to ensure compliance with good manufacturing practices (GMP) to maintain quality standards. The FDA and other regulatory agencies continuously monitor both brand-name and generic drugs for any safety concerns or reports of adverse effects.

Final thoughts

With the available ED treatments online – both generic and branded, the choice ultimately boils down to personal preference and budgetary considerations. While branded medications offer familiarity and brand recognition, generic equivalents provide an affordable alternative without sacrificing efficacy or safety.

When dealing with ED, generic versions like sildenafil and tadalafil have shown that they’re dependable and won’t break the bank. These generic options are proven effective, allowing people to care for their health without spending too much. As more people learn about the benefits of generic drugs, more folks will likely choose these alternatives, making healthcare more accessible for everyone.




David Radar, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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