Americans spend roughly $1,200 per year on prescription drugs. Much of that goes to brand-name drug companies. Those companies have a lot of advertising options, and they make themselves seem as though they’re the best and most effective drug options.
Are they really, though? Prescription drugs are extremely important for health and wellness, and they happen to be very expensive in a lot of cases. It’s good to know what you’re dealing with.
We’re going to look at three things to understand about prescription drugs today, giving you some insight that could help inform your decisions. Let’s get started.
1. Brand Name vs Generic Prescription Drugs
Any drug that’s FDA-approved is effective. In many cases, generic drugs and brand-name drugs are precisely the same chemical compounds. There are few, if any, differences.
The primary difference is advertising. The branding and marketing campaigns of these drugs produce different associations that might drive us to seek out or purchase those products.
That allows them, in many cases, to sell their products for a higher price. Make a note of the ingredients before you purchase, and purchase the cheaper option if the ingredients are the same.
Take a look at PricePro Pharmacy for great and affordable options.
2. Generic Approvals Follow Brand Name Approvals
One advantage that brand name companies have is that they release their products in advance of the generic options. This typically happens because a particular company gets a patent on that chemical compound and has the rights to it before it’s released.
This gives those companies time to make a name for themselves, get the drug approved, and corner the market. By the time generic drugs come around, people are suspicious of them and assume that the more popular brand must be better.
Note that it also takes a while for a drug to get approved, which pushes the generic releases out even further.
3. Similar Drugs May Look Different
You might wonder how a brand-name pill and a generic pill can look different if they have the same ingredients.
This occurs because the look of the drug is often adjusted with ingredients that don’t affect the efficacy of the substance. In other words, it’s like food coloring or the brand of pepper that you purchase to season your food. Different colors or brands don’t affect the final product in terms of taste or quality, but they look different at the outset.
The extent of additional differences is limited to prevent things like misidentification, placebo effects, or negative expectations. So, there could be small differences in the look and feel of medication, but they shouldn’t be enough to impact your expectations about the treatment itself.
Want to Learn More About Medications?
Hopefully, our look at prescription drugs was useful to you. There’s a lot more to learn about things like Medicare prescription drug plans, prescription drug prices, and more. We’re here to help you with more insight.
Explore our site for more ideas on how to stay healthy, manage your budget, find the right medications, and a whole lot more.