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How to save on prescription drugs without harm to health: a little-known way

If you have ever noticed, after returning home from a pharmacy, that your prescription pills look different than you used to, you are not alone. Reader's Digest.

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This may be a common occurrence: for example, the size, shape, or color of the medication may be different from what is expected. To understand why this is happening and what it might mean for you, it is important to know about the different types of prescription medications. These include brand name drugs, generic drugs (generics), and a third less well-known type of drug called an authorized generic drug.

Branded drugs or authorized generics

Brand medicines are medicines sold by a pharmaceutical company under a specific name or brand that is protected by a patent. The manufacturer is responsible for a number of important steps, including extensive research, to evaluate the safety of a drug and to make sure the drug is working. Branded drugs are reviewed and approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Advertisements for these drugs can often be seen on television or in magazines.

Generics provide the same clinical benefit as branded versions. They are usually made by companies other than the manufacturer of the brand name product. All generic drugs must meet FDA quality and manufacturing standards, and the FDA believes they are as safe and effective as a brand name drug. But the size, shape and color are often different from the brand name drug. In addition, generics may have slight differences in the composition of the inactive ingredients. Inactive ingredients are usually harmless substances that do not affect the body, such as colors, preservatives and flavorings. However, in some cases, changes in inactive ingredients may be poorly tolerated. Generic drugs are available at a lower cost than many brand name drugs.

On the subject: In some US pharmacies, the margin reaches 840%: how to buy drugs cheaper

What makes an authorized generic different from other generics? The first ones are made by the manufacturer of the original branded drug. They do not use the brand name on the label, but are the same size and shape as the branded version and may have different markings or, in some cases, a different color. Authorized generics are manufactured to the same standards as a brand name drug because they are usually manufactured in the same facility as the brand name.

It is important to note that the authorized versions are available for generic prices. However, to find out how much you will pay for a drug, you will need to check the price with your pharmacy or individual health plan, as there are many factors that affect how much you pay for your drug, including copays, premiums, and discount cards.

“Many people may not know about authorized generics and don't know how to access them,” says Justin Alderfer, director of medical affairs at Pfizer. “And while not all drugs have an authorized generic version, many do. In addition, pharmacies can often order a specific generic upon request. Patients should talk to their doctors about which option is best for them. "

An authorized generic for your medicine

To find out if your drugs are available in an authorized generic form, visit the FDA's website for a list of these drugs.

Many are unaware of the existence of authorized generics, but they are not new. There are companies in the United States that have been manufacturing authorized generics of original American and European drugs for years, sourcing materials for their products from a global network of suppliers. At the same time, only the trade mark under which the drug is marketed and the lower price differ.

On the subject: 10 important questions to ask your doctor before taking prescription drugs

Find the right pharmacy

The next time you're about to get a prescription drug, consider talking to your pharmacist or doing your own online search to find out if there is an authorized generic available for your drug. Then you can check if this version is in stock at the pharmacy or see if it can be ordered.

The material is published for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation. ForumDaily is not responsible for any diagnosis based on the materials of the site, as well as for the consequences of self-medication. Consult your doctor before taking medications.

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