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When companies make a brand-name drug, they get a patent. A patent stops other drug companies from making and selling the same drug before the patent runs out. When the patent on a brand-name drug expires, other drug companies can make a generic version.
After getting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the generic drug is made and sold under the active ingredient’s name.
Check out these common myths and facts about generic drugs:
Generics don’t have to repeat the long clinical studies used to make the brand-name drug. The safety and value of the brand-name product has already been proven with research and many years of patient use.Instead, companies that want to make a generic must show the FDA that it is a “bioequivalent” to the brand drug. That means:
The FDA considers several factors before it allows a company to make and sell a generic drug.
Now that you know the care and safety that goes into making generic drugs, you can take yours with peace of mind.
Originally published 5/11/2016; Revised 2021
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