Generic vs Brand Name Drugs: Which is Better?

In the U.S., the chance of a new drug making it to market is 1 in 5,000, and the process takes an average of 12 years.

Prescription drugs are the most regulated and monitored substances in the United States. Therefore, many people think that brand-name must be superior when it comes to generic vs brand. However, generic doesn’t mean it’s a knock-off.

If you can’t decide which one to buy, here is some information about each and their differences.


Brand-name medication is developed by a company through large amounts of work and research to ensure it’s effective and safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that every drug compound undergo pre-clinical studies to learn what the body will do with these compounds before testing in humans. As a result, there can be thousands of combinations in developing a medication that needs testing.

The FDA reviews applications before allowing trials to proceed. Clinical trials usually have three phases:

  1. Document all side effects
  2. Tested to establish safety, efficacy, and the optimal dosage
  3.  Same as phase two but on a much larger scale

Each phase needs thousands of human volunteers. After completing all trials, the FDA must approve the drug before its release onto the market. Even after the drug is released onto the market, it’s continually monitored for long-term effects.

Brand drugs are patent-protected to protect the significant investment put into their development. While the drug is under the patent protection, the company selling the medication can set the price to cover the cost of all the effort that went into production and make a profit.


Generic is a product with no brand name or registered trademark.

Once a drug patent has expired, other manufacturers can sell generic versions of the medication. These companies can sell generic drugs at a much lower price because they haven’t invested nearly as much as the brand manufacturer.

Generic VS Brand: What’s the Difference?

The FDA monitors and controls drugs sold in stores and pharmacies across the U.S. To buy brand or generic drugs online on sites like, you must have a valid prescription.

Generic and brand must work the same and have the same active ingredients.

Under FDA regulation, generic brands must have the same dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance, and intended use as the brand name. In addition, generic manufacturing, packaging, and testing sites must also pass the same quality standards.

Here are some of the differences:


The first noticeable difference is the name. Brand names are the manufacturing company’s name, while generic is based on the formula and chemical compounds.


The appearance will differ between generic and brand due to U.S. trademark laws. They may not share the same color, taste, shape, inactive ingredients, and packaging.

Which Should I Buy?

Between generic vs brand, both must meet the same standards as their brand name, and as long as they are available on the market, they are being monitored. Just because they’re cheaper doesn’t mean there’s a difference in quality.

If you’re interested in reading more about health, check out our blog.

Yvan Lebrun
Yvan Lebrun

Yvan Lebrun is a trusted expert in the field of product & service reviews. With over a decade of experience analyzing and comparing services online, he shares his valuable experience with readers at GoodSitesLike so consumers can make educated decisions before making a purchase.