Consumers are often confused about generic and branded drugs. Some have no idea what generics are or that they even exist. If you are one of them, then we might give you the answers you are looking for.

What are branded and generic drugs?

Before a new drug (also called innovator drug) is developed, approved, and marketed worldwide, it will be given two names: a brand name and a generic name.

The brand name, also known as the trade name, is given to a drug by the pharmaceutical company, (hence the term branded), who spent thousands or even millions of dollars in research and development to test for a drug's purity, safety, efficacy, potency, among others, to prove that these drugs are ready for human consumption. The brand name is displayed in the product label, usually with a bigger font than the others. Some examples would be Advair and Ventolin, prescription medications used to relieve symptoms such as chest tightness, wheezing, and difficulty of breathing in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

On the other hand, the generic name is the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) which is responsible for the therapeutic effects exhibited by a drug. This is a word or group of words that are usually difficult to pronounce unless you encounter them every day like when you are in the medical field. Some examples of generic names would be Fluticasone propionate with Salmeterol and Albuterol sulfate, the active ingredients of Advair, and Ventolin respectively.

The innovator company’s brand will then be subjected to a patent – a legal authority to sell the medications for several years exclusively. No other company will be allowed to sell the same drug in that period to allow the innovator company to compensate for the expenses incurred during the development phase. As soon as the patent expires, other companies will then be able to manufacture and market the drug under their trade name, giving birth to generics or generic drugs.

Are branded and generic drugs different?

Branded and generic medications both should have passed a series of evaluations to determine their purity, safety, efficacy, and potency, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in their respective countries. While they should be almost the same, they have a few differences such as:

  1. Inactive pharmaceutical ingredients: These are ingredients that have no therapeutic benefits to patients but are used as fillers when they are manufactured. Generic and branded drugs may or may not have the same fillers especially since they are manufactured by different companies.
  2. Trade names: The generic version may have a different trade name than the brand. For example, Eliquis is a branded drug made by Bristol Myers Squibb. The generic version made in India by Natco Pharmaceuticals goes by the name Apigat. Both have the same generic name Apixaban which is prescribed to prevent blood clots and strokes.
  3. Physical characteristics: Since they are manufactured by various companies, generic and branded medications may appear differently. They may differ in color, shape, or packaging.
  4. Cost: Branded drugs are always more costly than generic drugs because the branded versions have spent a lot in research, development, and marketing while generics can directly generate income from the efforts of the branded ones and can compete with the current market price to lower their costs if necessary.


How much can you save with generic drugs?

Here are some examples of how much you can save on your prescription medications. The prices listed below are a comparison between the branded drugs available in the USA, and our discounted generic versions sourced from around the world.

Drug Name Best US Brand Price Our Generic Price Your savings
100mg 90 Pills
$842 $121 $721 (86%)
125mcg HFA 3 Inhalers
$745 $63 $682 (92%)
3 Handihalers 18mcg
$1309 $25 $1284 (98%)

On average, research has shown that consumers can save around 70 to 85% on generics. Here at Canadian Prescription Drugstore, you can save up to 98% on your prescription medications. We assure you that we have the lowest priced prescription drugs from Canada and other countries and if not, we match our competitor’s price!

Generic drugs are almost the same as branded drugs. Both are safe and effective, but generics are much less expensive. If you are on a tight budget, generics may be for you but remember that a patient can always choose from all available options.

Contact Canadian Prescription Drugstore to see how much you can save when you buy prescription drugs from Canada.