Generic medicines vs Brand name medicines

Generic medicines vs Brand name medicines. Generic name of drugs, Brand name of drugs, Chemical name of drugs, Trivial name of the drugs, Generic medicine, Brand name medicine these terms are often confusing. All of these terms are drug product-related but they are not similar. Difference between Drug and Medicine. However, this article will elucidate:

Generic name of drugs vs Brand name of Drugs

What is the generic name of drugs?

Generic name is a unique, nonproprietary name of drug adopted by an officially recognized organization within each country. For example, within the United States of America, generic names of drugs adopted by the United States Adopted Names (USAN) Council which is co-sponsored by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention, American Medical Association, and the American Pharmacists Association). The generic name is usually used to identify a unique API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient). In most of the country, the generic name of a drug is the same but few have a different name. For example Paracetamol (According to British Approved Name (BAN) and Acetaminophen (According to United States Adopted Names (USAN) Council), Glyburide (USAN) and Glibenclamide (BAN).

What is the brand name of drugs?

A brand name is a unique, proprietary name of which is given by the pharmaceutical company and approved by officially recognized organizations (such as USFDA) within each country. This name is adopted to trade in a market.

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Manufacturing aids

A manufacturing or processing aid is a substance that helps make the medicine but is not meant to stay in it. Sometimes medicines have trace amounts of these substances, but they are not considered medicine ingredients.

Some examples of manufacturing aids are:

  • soy oil used as a lubricant
  • egg used to culture vaccines.

How to find ingredient information

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To find out about the ingredients in your medicine, first check the medicine label. The label includes important information about the medicine, including:

  • the name and amount of the medicine’s active ingredients
  • any common allergens that are ingredients in the medicine, such as milk or peanut products
  • any common allergens used in the manufacture of the medicine that are likely to be present in the medicine.

Medicine labels do not always list all the inactive ingredients in the medicine.

For prescription and some over-the-counter medicines, information about active and inactive ingredients is in the consumer medicines information (CMI) leaflet. The CMI also explains how to use the medicine safely. You can ask your pharmacist for a copy or find it through the CMI database.

For all medicines, information about active and inactive ingredients is available on the TGA website, in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) summary for each medicine. To find the ARTG summary for a medicine, use the “Search TGA” box by entering either the medicine name or the medicine’s AUST number (foundon the label) .

The ARTG summary lists the formulation of the medicine, with inactive ingredients in alphabetical order. The medicine’s ARTG summary does not include information on:

  • any manufacturing aids
  • the components of an ingredient (such as caffeine in a herbal extract)
  • the source of an ingredient (such as whether an ingredient is of animal origin, or whether it is natural or synthetic)
  • ingredients within flavour, fragrance or colour mixes.
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Contact the medicine company for more information about a medicine or if you are concerned about possible allergens. The company’s contact details are on the medicine label.

What is Generic drug/ Generic medicine?

The term “generic drug” or “generic medicine” both have used as the same meaning to understand a pharmaceutical product although there are some differences between drug and medicine.

Generic medicines / Generic Drugs are an off-patent pharmaceutical product that is bioequivalent to its Innovator product, manufactured by a pharmaceutical company in the same dosage form, strength, route of administration, safety, quality, and performance characteristics after expiring the innovator drug patent.

What is brand name drugs/Brand medicine?

Brand medicine / Brand name drug is a pharmaceutical product that is developed and marketed under a patent or registered trademark by a pharmaceutical company. But it is approved after establishing the drug’s safety and effectiveness through animal and clinical (human) studies. Frequently, drugs can be formulated in several ways such as buffered versus non-buffered aspirin, resulting in multiple brand names for the same drug (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient). Also, Brand name drug / brand medicine known as innovator drugs.

–interchangeable with an innovator product,

–manufactured without a license from the innovator company, and

–marketed after the patent or other exclusive rights expiration [1].

According to USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) defines a generic as:

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‘A drug product that is comparable to a brand/ RLD (reference listed drug) product in dosage form, route of administration, strength, quality, performance characteristics, and intended uses [2] .

According to EMA (European Medicines Agency), ‘A generic medicine is a medicine that is developed to be the same as a medicine that has already been authorized (reference medicine). Generic medicine contains the same active substance(s) and it is used at the same dose(s) as the reference medicine. However, the name of the medicine, its appearance (for example color or shape), and its packaging can be different from those of the reference medicine’ [3].

Bonus information for you:

What is the Chemical name of drugs?

The chemical name of a drug is the scientific name of the drug which includes information on the drug’s molecular structure. For example, the chemical name of Acetaminophen is N-acetyl-p-aminophenol.

Safety of medicine ingredients in Australia

We regulate medicines according to their risk. No medicine is 100% risk-free.

We assess the ingredients in medicines to make sure they are appropriate for their intended purpose. For example, if an ingredient is safe to use on skin but not in the eye, it may be allowed in a topical cream but not in eye drops.

Where a medicine ingredient has risks, we take steps to lessen the risk. We may limit the amount allowed in a medicine or require a warning on the label.

Some people are sensitive to substances that do not cause any health issues for the general population. If this is the case for you, talk with your doctor about these sensitivities.

Medicine ingredients and pregnancy

Pregnancy information for medicines is on the medicine label and in the CMI.

Always talk to your doctor about taking any kind of medication during pregnancy.

Need more information?

If you are concerned about the source of ingredients or other information that may not be on a label, it is best to contact the medicine company. Their contact details are on the medicine label.

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