WPS Health Insurance Blog

Are generic drugs safe?

Posted by Ryan Kanable

Nov 2, 2012 2:26:00 PM


According to 2011 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans spent more than $249 billion in 2009 on prescription medication. In 2010, the use of generics approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) saved $158 billion, according to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

With dollar figures like that, it’s no wonder many health insurance companies are requiring health plan participants to choose generic drugs whenever possible. While generic drugs can save you money, how safe are they for you? How well do these cheaper versions of brand-name drugs really measure up?

Well, according to the FDA, they’re just as good as their brand-name counterparts. FDA-approved generic drug products meet the same rigid standards as the original innovator drug. All generic drugs approved by the FDA have the same high quality, strength, purity, and stability as brand-name drugs. Also, the generic manufacturing, packaging, and testing facilities must pass the same quality standards as those of brand-name drugs.

If generic drugs are identical to the brand-name versions, then how can they be cheaper? The answer is simple: Generic drugs are less expensive because the manufacturers don’t have the investment costs that the developer of the brand-name drug had.

So go ahead and ask your doctor about using a generic drug next time. You’ll get all the benefits for less!

Find out more about how you can lower your drug costs.

Topics: Individuals & Families, Seniors