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What is the difference between generic medicine and branded medicine?

Last days, a direction of the Medical Council of India to the doctors of all the hospitals was in news. According to the direction of the council, the doctors must prescribe generic medicines to the patients instead of the branded medicines. This decision is made to make the medicines more affordable to the common people.

Let’s see what is the difference between generic and branded medicines!



What do we mean by Generic medicines?

Each of the medicines has an approved generic name and if a group of the medicines has similar actions, the group has similar generic names for all the medicines included in the group.


What are branded medicines?

A pharmaceutical company makes patented drugs that are called branded medicines. More than one company can make the same generic medicines, each with a different brand name. For example, the same generic drug paracetamol is sold by two companies with the names Calpol and Crocin.




How are generic medicines same as a branded medicine?

Generic medicines contain the same ingredients and the amount of the ingredients is also the same. The same doses are prescribed by the doctors and they are consumed by the patients in the same way, like orally, as drops or as injections. All of the generic and branded medicines have similar effects and side-effects.
For example, Disprin is a commonly known pain reliever and the generic name of this medicine is aspirin.


Can generic and branded medicines be different?

The generic and branded medicines are different in packaging as all the companies may choose to package their medicines in different ways. Moreover, the color of the tablets or capsules may be different. Some inactive ingredients may be different like different flavors in cough syrups of different companies.


Are generic medicines safe?


Generic medicines are cheaper but it does not mean they are not safe and effective. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, India’s drug regulatory authority and the Food & Drug Administration is responsible for testing these drug’s quality, effect, and composition regularly and the standard applied for both the drugs are exactly the same.

    Some of the commonly known generic medicines and their Indian brand names are:

  • Insulin – Humanext N, B D Microfine, Actrapid (used to diabetes).
  • Aspirin – Soloprin, Modlip ASP, Disprin (used curing mild pain).
  • Paracetamol – Crocin, Calpol (used for reduce fever).
  • Amoxcilin – Amox, Cidomox, Glamoxin (Antibiotic).
  • Pantoprazole – Pan 40, Aciban, Anto-D (used for acidity).

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