Has your doctor prescribed a brand-name medication through an eprescribe software, only to be told at the pharmacy that your insurance won’t cover it and that you have to pay full price? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, this scenario is becoming increasingly common as the cost of prescription drugs continues to rise.
One way to save money on prescription drugs is to ask your doctor if there is a generic version available. Generic drugs are bioequivalent to brand-name drugs, meaning they have the same active ingredient and work in the same way. However, they are usually much cheaper than brand-name drugs.
If you are not sure whether a generic drug is right for you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can help you understand the risks and benefits of taking a generic drug.
Here are the benefits of taking generic prescription drugs:
- They are much cheaper than brand-name drugs. If you are on a budget, generic drugs can save you a lot of money. This is especially helpful if you need to take a medication for a long period of time.
- They are just as effective as brand-name drugs. Generic drugs have the same active ingredient and work in the same way as brand-name drugs. Aside from being cheaper, there is no difference in how well they work.
- They are FDA-approved. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requires that generic drugs meet the same standards as brand-name drugs. This means they are safe and effective. You don’t have to worry about taking a generic drug that is not as safe or effective as the brand-name version.
- They are widely available. Generic drugs are made by many different pharmaceutical companies. This competition among manufacturers keeps prices down. You should be able to find a generic drug at most pharmacies, including big-box stores and online retailers.
- You don’t need a prescription. In most cases, you don’t need a prescription to get a generic drug. This is because they are available over the counter at pharmacies. However, there are some exceptions, such as for controlled substances or drugs that require refrigeration. Be sure to check with your pharmacist before buying a generic drug.
What to keep in mind about generic prescription drugs?
Now that you know the benefits of generic prescription drugs, you may be wondering if there are any downsides. In general, there are no major disadvantages to taking generic drugs.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Generic drugs may not be available for all medications. While most common medications have a generic version, there are some exceptions. For example, there is no generic form of the brand-name drug Viagra.
- Generic drugs may have different inactive ingredients. Inactive ingredients are substances that are added to a drug but don’t have any therapeutic effect. They can include fillers, binders, and dyes. These ingredients may be different in generic drugs and brand-name drugs.
- Generic drugs may not be the same size, shape, or color as the brand-name drug. This is because generic manufacturers are not allowed to copy the exact appearance of a brand-name drug. However, the active ingredient is always the same.
- Generic drugs may have a different name than the brand-name drug. The generic name is usually different from the brand name. For example, the generic name for the brand-name drug Lipitor is atorvastatin.
- You may need to try a few different generic drugs before you find one that works for you. This is because each person metabolizes drugs differently. What works for one person may not work for another.
If you are thinking about taking a generic drug, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can help you understand the risks and benefits of taking a generic drug.