It starts with the development of a compound. The drug company gets a U.S. patent on the formula. This patent gives them a 20-year exclusive right to develop and test the compound and, if approved, to sell it as a patented brand-name prescription drug.
Until the patent expires, no one else is allowed to manufacture or sell the compound.
But afterwards, other companies can apply for permission to make and sell the same compound as a generic.
- Must have the exact same active ingredients as the brand-name drug.
- Might or might not have the same colors, flavors, or inactive ingredients.
- Must be manufactured to look different from the brand-name drug.
There’s no “secret formula” when it comes to patented prescription drugs—the formula is part of the patent. Sometimes the generic drug is even manufactured in the same facility that makes the brand-name drug.
If you’re taking a drug that’s going generic, take advantage of the savings! As always, be sure to talk with your health coach about any concerns you may have about medications you’re taking or considering.
You want to get the full benefit of medications—and avoid problems and side effects. Your health coach can help, so that you can stay tough to the core!
What’s a Generic?
Generic drugs are different from generic products in other categories. Same word—generic—but not the same thing at all.
A generic cola, for example, looks like Coca-Cola, but doesn’t have the same ingredients.
A generic drug, on the other hand, looks different from the brand-name version, but has exactly the same active ingredients and formula.