Generic drugs: Myths vs. facts

Beginning in 2018, if you choose a brand-name drug, you will pay the generic co-pay plus the difference in cost between the brand and generic drug when a generic-equivalent drug is available. To help understand the value of generics, it's important to understand the facts.

Myth: Generics are not as safe as brand-name drugs.

Fact: The Food and Drug Administration mandates that all drugs—brand-name and generic—must be safe and effective. Generic drugs are as safe as their brand-name equivalents but are offered at a lower cost.

Myth: Generics are not as strong as brand-name drugs, so they take longer to produce results.

Fact: Generic drugs use the same active ingredients as brand-name medicines, so they are equivalent in quality, strength, purity, and stability. You'll receive the same benefits from generic equivalents as from the brand-name drugs and in the same amount of time.

Myth: Generic drugs are more likely to cause side effects.

Fact: Before releasing a generic equivalent to the market, the FDA monitors for harmful drug reactions, and it has found the same levels of side effects in generic and brand-name drugs. Generic drugs don't have any side effects that are not also found in brand-name drugs. With generics, you'll receive the same health benefits you receive from brand-name drugs, and at a lower cost. To start using a generic, talk to your doctor today.