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Generic Vs Non-Generic Medicines: Everything You Need To Know

By Nishkak +2 more

Once a new l medicine is developed and approved, it is sold under its brand name by a pharmaceutical company. Once the patents and other laws protecting the product expire, other pharmaceutical companies can manufacture the same medicine using the same active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). This is known as generic medicine.


Let us explore the difference between generic and non-generic medicines. 

A generic medicine is created to be the same as an existing non-generic medicine and is similar in the form of dosage, safety, administration method, strength, quality and intended use. Simply put, you can take a generic medicine as a substitute for the non-generic medicine and it will work the same way, providing the same clinical benefits. 

While the active ingredient is the same, generic and non-generic medicine might differ in other characteristics and physical appearance. 

Saving with generic medicines  

Generic medicines usually cost less than non-generic medicines, mainly because they don’t have to repeat clinical trials and studies. The branded non-generic medicine has performed the required tests to prove its effectiveness and safety. Generic medicines are cheaper, but they adhere to the same quality standards.

While there is no harm in switching from a non-generic medicine to a generic one, sometimes these changes are necessary and done for reasons other than cost. For example, the patient might be allergic to one of the inactive ingredients of either medicine.

Government initiative on generic meds (jan aushadhi initiative)

The Government of India launched the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Yojana to make quality medicines, surgical items and consumables available for everyone at affordable rates. 

The Yojana also tries to educate people that generic medicines are the same as non-generic medicine and disapprove of the notion that they are ineffective because they are cheaper. 

The medicines sold under this scheme are WHO-GMP compliant and adhere to all FSSAI regulations. The medicines are also tested in laboratories accredited by NAB (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories.)

Explaining the difference between generic vs non-generic

Generic medicines go through the same quality testing process as non-generic medicines. The strength, purity, potency and effectiveness of the generic medicines have been approved before bulk manufacturing. Also, they have the same active pharmaceutical ingredient as non-generic medicine, ensuring that they serve the same purpose and have the same benefits. 

The basic difference between branded and non-branded medicines is that they don’t always look the same and have major price differences. Generic medicines may have different inactive ingredients like flavours, binders and fillers. These inactive ingredients don’t affect how the medicine works. 

To check for a generic version of a non-generic medicine, you can visit the PharmEasy website. Browse the website, add the name of the medicine and you will find all the relevant details.

Upload your prescription, RX and schedule a call with any member of our panel of esteemed and reputed doctors and experts.

There are reservations that people have about switching to generic medicines and you must speak to an expert to get the best advice.

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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