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Is There a Difference Between Brand Name Medications and Generics?

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We've already discussed drug names, generic and "brand" ones. But are there differences beyond the words? That's the topic of this week's Healthcare Triage. Those of you who want to read more can go here: http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/?p=67763 John Green -- Executive Producer Stan Muller -- Director, Producer Aaron Carroll -- Writer Mark Olsen -- Graphics http://www.twitter.com/aaronecarroll http://www.twitter.com/crashcoursestan http://www.twitter.com/johngreen http://www.twitter.com/olsenvideo And the housekeeping: 1) You can support Healthcare Triage on Patreon: http://vid.io/xqXr Every little bit helps make the show better! 2) Check out our Facebook page: http://goo.gl/LnOq5z 3) We still have merchandise available at http://www.hctmerch.com
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Text Comments (336)
Radhesh and Raja (8 days ago)
In India only branded drug have medicine....in generic drug have no medicine.....
Pam Walk (9 days ago)
Everyone should check out Aurobindo complaints and see for yourselves how good the FDA is at regulations. ..And I recommend checking out Medchats forum..ITS NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD IF YOU END UP EXTREMELY ILL by taking something that's supposed to help you 😡
EVIE ILES (1 month ago)
HOSPITAL
Sonya Lum (1 month ago)
Can't trust nothing. My insurance only pays for generic Drugs
habeb alhead (1 month ago)
It's a great gob what you present..👌 All my respect..
Beth Nelson (3 months ago)
I've been lucky that all my physicians have been happy to prescribe generics! On a different note, there was a time when my mom and I were on the same dose of an antidepressant and the pharmacy we went to began use the same medicine but produced by a different manufacturer. (It's worth noting we were already on a generic and this was still the generic, it's just that the manufacturer of the drug changed.) A week goes by on the generic from the new manufacturer and she and I start having withdrawal symptoms, as though our brains were not getting enough of the SSRI's. We took it back to the pharmacy and we were apparently not the only ones with this problem. I know it's a shot in the dark, but do you know what could have caused this?
Randomfully Wonderful (3 months ago)
Additionally, in the United States, physicians push the brand name on their patients because they can get paid by pharmaceutical companies. I've never heard of a doctor recommending the brand name.
Rick M. (4 months ago)
*More filler. Hence why it is cheaper. Do we trust the FDA?* - my own shrink told me
Liz Camsters (6 months ago)
Well both me as consumer and medical professors agree there is no difference between brand or generic except the price! Therefore I buy generic drugs online at www.pharmacy-xl.com which is a trusted drugstore for cheap generic drugs. As they have free shipping and prices 70% lower or more, I use this online pharmacy for more than 5 years now. Check it yourself too.
hack3r (2 months ago)
it would be safer to buy the generic drugs at a corner store or a local pharmacy
Emmanuel Garza (7 months ago)
What about the difference in brand name and generic brand
Emmanuel Garza (7 months ago)
Mark Magtoto. Does the same apply to supplements...that was my original question, i just forgot to put supplements at the end of the question...
Emmanuel Garza (7 months ago)
Mark Magtoto ok i get it...thanks for the reply
Mark Magtoto (7 months ago)
Emmanuel Garza brand name most insurance dont pay for it and if the insurance dont pay for it you gonna pay out of the pocket, for generic names insurance will definitely pay for that because insurances are cheap af
James T. K (7 months ago)
teva
There are some substances that do not have "generics".... Insulin, for example. And even switching between brands requires strict monitoring by a doctor. (Can you tell I've had to explain that one to my health insurance companies on multiple occasions. Usually after a letter saying, "Did you know, you could save money by switching to...." No. No, I can't.)
Jeff and Lydia Micalizzi (11 months ago)
Generic drugs can kill u and u do not have right to sue. Brand name of the exact same drug can harm u and you can sue. Supreme Court decision 2014. Absurd
No this is Patrick (11 months ago)
It seems like brand drugs basically patented it first, but thats it. Everyone can make the drug through the same reactions, there really is no big difference.
Rachel Marlene (1 year ago)
I buy it from here Alexajoel371@gmail.com They have it all I ordered from Florida
EtrielDevyt (1 year ago)
Just used this video to facilitate a discussion about public health policy between an anarchist (myself), a libertarian, and a green centrist. Fuck yeah, Youtube.
Ryan Thomas (1 year ago)
Once in a while they get sued for it. So, no.
The Peeps (1 year ago)
Stupid question but are there gumballs in that pill?
MrJoseautotech (1 year ago)
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/davidmaris/2012/10/10/fda-recall-points-to-serious-problems-at-the-fda/amp/
in 2011 this ruling came out. Why is there no labeling to tell us if you take this generic drug and are harmed you have no legal rights this needs to be placed on the generic as well as the brand name. This is truly important information that the Supreme Court should and the FDA are responsible to keep the public informed about. Its a health concern. Your mental and financial health too.
Here is something that you have not thought of. Did you realize that if you take a generic medication you have no legal rights. The Supreme Court has determined that we cannot sue the generic manufacturers. Everyone tells you that's the generic pill is exactly the same is the brand name. Well the brand-name has a little bit more power. If you are harmed or one of your loved ones dies, and you have taken the brand name you can sue for damages. So both the drugs do not have equal opportunities. I took a generic antibiotic and suffered in aortic dissection. I have tried over 60 lawyers to get someone to represent me. Do to the Supreme Court not giving us the proper advice I can't get anyone to represent me. The only advice that I get from lawyers is get someone to represent you before the statute of limitations runs out. So if you are poor and cannot afford brand-name medications you can die and no one we'll represent you in court. To me this is the most significant difference between generic and brand-name drugs this is something that everyone in the United States needs to think about and call the powers that be did get them To do their job. Someone has to be responsible for wrongful death or wrongful harm due to the fact that they took a drug approved by the FDA and prescribed by Dr. To help them. I have called and contacted senators, congressman, lawyers, the news media and anyone that I could think of to help. You're There are class-action lawsuits against the brand-name manufacturer for the drug I took which means that the formulas they produced is harmful. If it were not for the brand-name manufacturer putting this drug on the market I would not have suffered in aortic dissection. How hard is it for the Supreme Court to realize that the formulator of the drug is responsible. Makes absolutely no logical sense to me and I doubt if it does with you. So if you Think that taking generic over brand-name drugs is fine you're nuts.
Pam Walk (9 days ago)
I am in pain all the time I used to get adequate pain relief about 10yrs ago but now I never know what generic company my pharmacy is going to use next..Aurobindo Tylenol4 makes me worse but nobody cares..They have been given warnings by congress to do better BIG WHOOP😡 I am starting to believe they not only dont care if we are sick And maybe do just want us to hurry up and die😢
jimmy playinghardball2 (1 month ago)
the truth is they want you more sick or dead so they can make more money and steal your old age pension and keep it in they're pockets..I just tried generic tylanol 3 and it made me dizzy, gave me anxiety, and had trouble breathing, with slight chest pain while the over the counter Advil blue gel pills made me feel fine for at least 6 hrs, with barely any side effects, the generic tylanol 3 it barely gave me any pain relief, I'm taking it back to the pharmacy and I'm going to ask for my money back...I'm going to try to live with the pain until it disappears just got to relax and go for a walk to get your mind off having to deal with companies you cant sue for them poisoning you, and the next next time your health care professional tries to perscribe you generic just tell him no way, and if he doesn't listen to you tell him to stick it where the sun don't shine
Lies !!! I know all generic medicine is not the same! I've had side affects from one med and go to another pharmacy and get the same meds and have no side affect.
awebreeze1 (1 year ago)
I can use Salonpas for arthritis pain, but the off brand leaves a chemical burn. I'm warning everyone who uses this stuff to buy name brand on this.
Jay Sanders (1 year ago)
generic painkillrrs do not work as well as some name brands in some cases , i kno first hand , oxycontin works better than oxycodone , which are the same
bdf2718 (1 year ago)
Here in the UK, doctors usually prescribe by the generic (aka scientific, aka non-proprietary) name rather than the brand (aka proprietary) name. That leaves it up to the pharmacist to decide, based on whichever manufacturer is offering the generic for the lowest price. Yeah, there are exceptions. Those drugs where there's a narrow therapeutic range. And occasionally where the drug doesn't yet have any generic competitors, particularly where it's a formulation consisting of two or more drugs. About the only time I've seen prescription by brand name where there were generics it was to ensure the generic was dispensed. Sirdupla vs seretide. Until relatively recently, there was only seretide, then sirdupla came along. Sirdupla is (for now) quite a bit cheaper, and it's less confusing to give a name like that than specify "salmeterol 25 µg + fluticasone 250 µg metered-dose inhaler. " Given that sirdupla is from Mylan, expect the price to rocket upwards if they ever drive GSK's seretide out of the market. Oh, and just to rub in yet another problem with US healthcare, the part of the UK I am in has no payment/co-payment/whatever for prescription drugs. The doctor prescribes it, the pharmacist hands it over, the government pays the pharmacist. One of the few advantages of living in Wales compared to living in England. It turns out that Wales is saving money by operating things that way because, as the motto has it, an ounce of prevention is better (and also cheaper) than a pound of cure.
Rachel Cox (1 year ago)
One issue with generics is that if you are taking one of the drugs where the formulation matters (levothyroxine, for example) you have no guarantees that your pharmacy won't switch which company they buy the generic from. As a patient, I would need to go have my blood levels retested any time the pharmacy switched. That's a pain in the butt and potentially a financial burden for the patient. That alone is a strong enough argument for the brand name. (Of course ONLY for drugs where this matters, for any other medication using the generic is a no-brainer)
Ragnarok Sora (1 year ago)
so to summarize. grand drugs are just more prettier, smell better, and taste better compare to generic drugs.
New Nrw (1 year ago)
cepasta
RustyDust101 (1 year ago)
Thank you for the definition and explanation of excipients. That they did exist was obvious for me, but that they were not biologically and pharamceutically inert was not. This does make me think how the FDA and other similar agencies around the world check for their effects on other compounds contained in the tablets. Or even IF these possible cross-effects are even checked for.
Michael Sparks (1 year ago)
1:07 says "providing", should be "proving"
WDEMMEL (1 year ago)
OVER-regulation prevents generic drugs to come to the market. Only high volume, high revenue drugs are economic to register and produce generic. This leaves many expired drug patents in a monopoly, causing runaway heath care cost. For the longest time, the FDA has worked with the pharmaceutical industry, to make it as hard as possible to bring generic drugs to the market. Subsequently, many cannot afford the drugs they need. US prices are double of what it is in the most advanced countries, with the strictest regulations. Some drug costs up to 1200% of what the same drug costs in Europe.
Valerie Evanier (1 year ago)
OK.  Correct me if I am wrong, but everyone here seems content that it is the patient that is crazy and not that there is something wrong with the generic because 1. there have been a handful of studies over the past several years on a very limited number of meds, and 2. the drug manufacturer says they are ok after testing themselves.  I have never in my life been suspicious of generics until several months ago when a med I am taking, which is now being sourced from a new overseas manufacturer, has become noticeably less effective.  I did an internet search and found a number of similar comments from people about this company and their meds.  The generic manufacturer for this med has been changed a number of times over the years and I've never noticed a problem until this one.  So, for a person taking a certain generic med, is there anything other than the company's word for it that can be presented as evidence that the drug is ok?  If you say it is impossible for the FDA to routinely test these drugs themselves, then the answer is...because the drug companies say it's ok.
Jess (1 year ago)
I was on a brand medication for 5 years with no ill side effects. When the generic came out, all I could think about was the money I was saving.  Two years later, I was addicted and going through mine and my sons prescript. (mom of the year right here) within 2 weeks.  I was taking anywhere from 80 -200 mg when I was prescribed 40mg a day.  I turned into a desperate junkie, stealing money my husband had hidden so I could buy from other people.  During these two years, I managed to gain 40 lbs on a medication that usually reduces your appetite.  During one moment of clarity, I started talking with my Dr. about switching my meds.  His first comment was, well, we can increase your dose.   (obviously I knew that wasn't the answer)  When I told him I just didn't think it was working for me, He asked me, well,  what would you like to try?  REALLY?!  I'll try to shorten this, But I changed Dr. who has more understanding and told him of my addiction. I Got myself into a treatment to handle the addiction part of it. We tried different meds, and even had a month back on the brand name (it was wonderful) but now I  have been taken off of the med all together, in order to let my brain heal.  After researching, I found more and more people having similar problems.  I was never looking for a 'High".  But after living my life with undiagnosed ADHD I fell in love with relief I felt with the medication.  Now I am left with this frustrating, overwhelmed brain, a brain that knows how green the grass is on the other side.  I am scared now to ask about going back to the brand name of the Drug, but I really miss the feeling of "normal"  I am also so frustrated by the people who think it is crazy, and generics are equal.  It wasn't until I was already so deep in a hole that I realized what had changed and in my mind started a downward spiral.
Zippy (1 year ago)
Brand name meds have much better QA during manufacturing process
Md Raj khan (1 year ago)
thewixter,, I want make good body,,can you say me good medicine name,,,please,, because I can't eat food,,, now I am so thing,,,
Abhishek Tiwari (1 year ago)
westerners have a lot of money they should always buy branded no need to see or think on video
Paige Brownlie (1 year ago)
All of this makes a lot of sense to me. After all, what use would a generic drug be if it does not have the same effect on the body as the brand-name drug? With both the brand-name drug and the generic drug having bioequivalence and pharmaceutical equivalence, the drugs should be used interchangeably. Since the only difference is in the excipients, generic drugs should be used and recommended more often than they are, especially since they are much cheaper than the brand-name. Working people do not always have the money to spend on brand-name drugs, and if the generic drug is going to have the same effect, why should it not be used?
Daniel Albers (1 year ago)
uhh generic drugs do not have the placebo effect going for it
Nich Citarella (1 year ago)
I don't know who does your makeup, but they need to be fired. If its you, you need to watch a tutorial.
rasputin7095 (1 year ago)
Walmart version of Prevacid doesn't work nearly as well as Walgreens version of Prevacid for some reason. Not placebo effect either, since I take it every day and "really wanted" it to work well.
Krystal Schaible (1 year ago)
As a consumer of mostly generic drugs versus brand name drugs, the evidence in this video did an excellent job of reassuring me that what I'm taking is actually regulated and required to be pharmaceutically and bio-equivalent to the brand name drug. I was surprised to learn that before a generic drug can be marketed, the manufacturers have to submit an Abbreviated New Drug Application to the FDA. This application requires that the generic drug has the same strength and contains the same drug compound, etc. as the brand name drug. This fact abolishes the popular notion that generic drugs aren't as strong as the brand name ones. Although being bio-equivalent and pharmaceutically equivalent doesn't ensure that the drugs are the same in EVERY way, it still requires that the basic properties are the same. Many consumers choose generic drugs over brand name drugs for the simple fact that they are often times incredibly less expensive. Is it reassuring to know that the FDA doesn't approve generic drugs without careful consideration.
Kayla Kincaid (2 years ago)
This video was very informative! I really wish more people realized that the generic and the brand-name drugs are basically the same thing. I feel that people should know about this so the next time their doctor prescribes them something, they can ask for the generic brand. Even if the physician says no, they could still try. Even though more people should know this, unfortunately, I'm sure the pharmaceutical companies do not want you to know this. They still want you to spend the money on the name-brand. What is surprising to me is that insurance companies do not push doctors harder to switch to generic versions. This would save them money in the long run. However, if the contents of this video are more widely known, it will save a lot of people tons of money.
justin norwood (2 years ago)
I like how the first thing that was covered was in regard to things other than medication. Cause I can tell you, there is for sure a big difference in name brand cereal and the generic brand. And that is how I thought medication would be, but its said that this trend is not universal. At the same time, it makes sense that that medication is not like cereal. That would mean that we have medication that is not very beneficial at all (not to rag on cereal). I was not aware that the generic brand of medication is almost identical to the brand name medications in every way. The only thing that is different is the excipients that are involved (inactive ingredients). Its nice to get the background information on brand name and generic items, especially with medication!
Mackenzie Robinson (2 years ago)
What about thyroid medication though? I work as a pharmacy technician and the pharmacist always assures customers you can easily switch between brand and generic unless its levothyroxine. Is there something about thyroid medications that are different?
Mackenzie Robinson (1 year ago)
Andrew Thibeault that makes sense, thank you so much!
Andrew T (1 year ago)
Mackenzie Robinson Great question! For thyroid meds, there may be some cause for concern when switching between manufacturers because of the very small doses involved. Levothyroxine is dosed not in milligrams, but micrograms (1 milligram is equal to 1000 micrograms!). Levothyroxine also has a very small therapeutic window, so if the difference in excipients changes the absorption by even a few micrograms, you could easily become sub- or supertherapeutic. For this reason, a typical pharmacy will usually stock only one manufacturer of levothyroxine and the brand (Synthroid), so they know for certain that all of the patients at that pharmacy will get the same dose every time they fill.
charlietuba (1 year ago)
Is it possible there may be a placebo effect with name brand drugs. My wife swears that she doesn't get the same effect with generic Ibuprofen as she does with the name brand Advil®. The same thing goes for acetaminophen and Tylenol®.
youtubeuser (2 years ago)
In general I agree with this, but I have also noticed that some generics from certain manufacturers are significantly less potent. For example, with Ambien, I noticed a significant drop off in effectiveness. This was not a placebo effect because I did not even look at the label at first, but after inspecting it, I realized the pharmacy had switched to another manufacturer. Sure enough, when I demanded to get my usual generic, it was effective again. In fact, the manufacturer for generic wellbutrin pulled it's version because it was busted by the FDA for having significantly less bioavailability. Anecdotally, this has happened mostly with my generics that were manufactured in India.
According to Doctors Without Borders, the cheaper generic drugs will disappear. Here is their video. www.DoctorsWithoutBorders.org/news-stories/video/trans-pacific-trade-pact-hands-our-medicines Joint letter by Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam America, AARP, AFL-CIO, and GPA http://www.aflcio.org/content/download/146881/3760211/file/TPP-Joint+Letter+Dec+17+2014+FINAL.pdf A vote on the TPP is expected this year after the presidential election. Here is one thing you can do right now to stop it. http://action.citizen.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=13272 http://stopthetpp.org/
Rakesh Shukla (2 years ago)
generic medicines are same as their branded counterparts. it contains the same active ingredients as branded drugs.the only difference come in the shape, size, cost and composition.I visited a site mediklik which gives the detailed information about the generic medicines and its side effects.
Victoria Alexis (2 years ago)
For ADHD meds my doc described it like alcohol. A generic might give you more side effects when you wake up the next day.
Xavier Rose (2 years ago)
For those living in Australia, if you've ever had your medication subsidised, that means you've used the generic brand. Also, the same amount of ibuprofen in Nurofen is the same amount in Woolworths and Coles brands of ibuprofen. Brand names sell more because they have commercials -- that's my theory.
Sumit Jaiswal (2 years ago)
I think the major difference comes from the colour,shape, packaging and size of the branded and generic drugs and there is no problem in using generic drugs. I found information about generic drugs and their compositions in details from mediklik-a healthcare startup company.
Keira Churchill (2 years ago)
It's also important not to confuse "generic" with "counterfeit". Counterfeit drugs are not submitted for approval at all, and could be either completely worthless or just plain deadly (or both). Steer well clear of the counterfeits no matter how much cheaper they appear to be, and never ever self-diagnose and then order prescription-only drugs from a random supplier to treat that condition.
Garrett (2 years ago)
I've been dispensed generics that look 100% identical to the name brand pills before. How does that work?
Insane arbiter (2 years ago)
there's a reason that compounding pharmacies exist. just saying you can have reactions to the other ingredients. it may be chemically identical as far as the drug is concerned but individuals can have allergies.
zero hope (2 years ago)
I work in the pharmacy and some patients prefer brand names, I call bullshit
changeisnowpeople (2 years ago)
I mean, IGE which is I guess allergy test is negative, but I have noticed that whenever I have curd, ice cream, soft drinks, I get cold symptoms, n one time when I followed it by cold medicine(when I did not think soft drinks/ice creams caused it) - the medicines caused a reaction causing scars around my body... What do you think is the real problem? - to be on safe side, I dont have Ice cream/soft drinks etc. - What is the problem you think here?... thanks in advance.
changeisnowpeople (2 years ago)
in my local pharmacy, when I ask him to give me subsidiary medicine/drug, he tells me to go somewhere else... They are focused on only selling expensive drugs.... In a local news paper, "augmentin 650 duo" which is an essential drug of the world, which I had to take for a COLD, there were subsidiary drugs mentioned on the paper... Most doctors prescribe this drug instead of the equivalent drug which is half the price... What do you suggest on this? and what are the ways to get the cheaper drugs?... how to save on the medical yearly expenses living in a city. Stopped having "curd,ice cream, any pepsi/coke related" n now have reduced cold(probably allergy, but IGE is negative) - so I just dont eat/drink those stuff.
theguy9208 (2 years ago)
so basically the difference between brand name medication and generic meds is the same difference between a GMC sonoma and a chevy S10?
Sheila Cormack (2 years ago)
I loved that the advert I got before I watched this for the first time was for brand name children's ibuprofen. I loved the video I found it so informative that I made my husband watch it for his yearly GP appraisal (don't know if the appraiser will agree it counts as suitable but if reading cutting for stone counts so should watching this) . I was pretty surprised at the statistics In the uk no one is started on a brand name if a generic is available and only a few elderly people mind getting switched if a generic becomes available . I find I know which medicine I'm on better because of the way things are here, I speak to people with IBD in America and I have to look up what medicine they take as I know it by it's pharmaceutical name to me it's always Diclofenac not voltarol it's not zofran it's Ondancetron. Whereas they know the drug by its brand name. I find it helpful to know the drug name I react badly to procoloperizine yet I have been offered it by nurses because it's 'buccastem' not procoloperizine, I wish that the drug name should be printed as big as the brand so that mistakes happen less it's hard to know the name of every version so it's frustrating. I do ask for a brand sometimes but that's only when the bio equivalent tastes pretty bad. I'm waffling now but very cool video. It would be interesting to see wether people in Scotland are more compliant with brand or generic as here we don't pay for prescriptions I suspect they might be slightly more compliant with the shiny brand name drug. We don't have adverts for prescription medications so I guess that probably helps as patients don't get told to "ask if paracetamoxyfrusebendromycin is right for you" .
Pata Fea (2 years ago)
Panadol, a "tylanol" brand in the UK and Ireland. have an ad campaign "Not all Paracetamol is created equal" And it makes me laugh because I assume legally the paracetamol part of their pill has to be equal.. but It's a much more effective ad than saying "we ad a few mg of caffeine so your blood absorbs it faster".
Tia Sova (2 years ago)
I don't understand why people would pay for brand name drugs if the generic is just as effective. The price for a brand name over the counter medication is at least 5 times as expensive as the generic. These drug companies such as Bayer put a ton of money into advertising of these medications. People see the commercials or advertisements and want to try that medication. There are two name brand over counter drugs (Motrin and Advil) that have the exact same active ingredient (ibuprofen) so I don't understand how both can be so popular and many people are pro one or the other. I buy generic whenever possible because it is so much cheaper. Anyone who buys brand name I feel is basing their purchase of a commercial of a mom with back pain. People need to do more research into drugs and not just buy the ones that big drug companies tell us to buy. The majority of generic and brand name medications have the exact same therapeutic effect and the same active ingredients.
Sheila Cormack (2 years ago)
Isn't one Tylenol/paracetamol and one was ibuprofen I'm from the uk so when I saw the arguments I presumed that what the debate was over. If it's just over the same medicine then I agree totally bizarre
TheFluorescentFish (2 years ago)
I wish he'd talked about whether or not there's a placebo effect to taking the brand name drug, and whether that's something to consider. I feel like whenever I get generic allergy meds they really don't work as well, and maybe that's my brain paying tricks on me but in my case I don't mind spending five more dollars to feel better even if it's a silly reason. I had also heard that patients report effects from placebos even when told it's fake, so knowing the generic is effectively the same isn't going to help you that much. I'm not sure if this is a good explanation but when doctors hear so many anecdotal examples of people having problems when they switch to the generic of a particular drug, I think it's worth considering whether the scientific research is incomplete somehow. The feedback doctors receive isn't a replacement for research but I don't think you can necessarily disregard it just because it's not scientifically explained yet.
Chelsea Lofton (2 years ago)
Though I knew that generic medicine had the same pharmaceutical and bioequivalence as name brand drugs, I didn't know the technical terms for it nor did I know that they weren't entirely the same in composition until recently. I certainly never realized that the bulk of a medicine's weight was actually inactive, coloring, and/or flavoring ingredients, and this realization is actually really surprising to me despite the obviousness of the situation in hindsight. The excipients lacking inert qualities also surprised me to hear out loud, though I suspected as much considering that some people can be allergic to one brand of medicine and not another despite the two medications having the same active ingredients. With the effects that certain additional ingredients can have on people that take a drug, I'm very glad that the FDA has specific guidelines that a drug must meet in order to make it on shelves for human use. Were there no guidelines, I'd be concerned that greater medical issues due to drug ingredient side-effects would rise. I also find it interesting that, despite people tending to prefer brand-names over generics because of generics being cheaper, those same people might be more likely to stick to a medical regimen when it involves these cheaper generics. It makes sense from an economic stand-point, but the idea that someone would change their opinion about a drug they might not initially trust based on price alone is almost laughable, for want of a better word. I do wonder, however, if there's any other reason a person might be willing to stick with the regimen outside of money or if that's the sole factor keeping them to it or not.
Emiss (2 years ago)
This is a real struggle for us in pharmacies. If doctors prescribe the original, people assume that the generic is something the pharmacies mix together with soap and dirt in the backroom, and ask us why the doctor didn't prescribe the cheapest one.
Krystal Burcham (2 years ago)
This video does a great job explaining why generics and brand name drugs are equivalent. I studied Pharmacy for 3 years and during that time, I also worked as a Pharmacy Technician. There are many people that still believe that they do not work the same and are not equivalent. What I found astonishing was the percentage of physicians who are less likely to prescribe generic medications. I already knew, before watching this video, that generic  and brand name drugs contained the same active ingredient and that the only difference(s) is/are the inactive ingredients. This is a great video to showcase how much time the FDA and drug companies put into drug equivalency. Maybe if skeptics watched this video, they would have a better understanding of generic drugs and be more apt to using them and saving money.
Elizabeth Guglielmi (2 years ago)
Anybody who feels brand name medication is better then generic medication is simply just misinformed. Besides for having exactly the same active ingredient and bioequivalence, generic medication is 80-85% less then the average cost of brand-name. Don't spend extra money on Tylenol or Advil when you can get the same outcome from store brand Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen. This goes for all prescription and over the counter drugs.
Warren Garabrandt (2 years ago)
This fully justifies the money I've saved by buying all generic medicines.  Thanks for alleviating my concerns on this!
Lindsey Corliss (2 years ago)
I actually feel more comfortable taking generic drugs. I'm not sure why.
Purple Heart (2 years ago)
I think this video is very interesting, a lot of people including myself sometimes buy the "Name Brand" product instead of generic because we feel its stronger or works better, but in fact by law they have to be just as pharmaceutic-ally and bio equivalent.Generic drugs must have the same strength, identity, purity, and quality as the Brand and product, with this being said why waist more money and feel you have to spend more to get more when you don't actually have to.
Zephyrus411 (2 years ago)
I always buy generic when it comes to medicine except for Mucinex. I really think it's that "bi-layer" that make the difference. It seems that RB has extended the patent for the bi-layer because none of the generics use it.
Monica Smith (2 years ago)
I have always been curious at whether or not named brand medications were the same as the generic brand. I am definitely one of those individuals who like name brand products. For some reason I believe they are of better quality, but have no information to back up my point of view. I never knew that when a drug first came out it was allowed to be sold by a single company, so I found this information very interesting. I knew generic drugs were cheaper to buy, but I never knew they were pharmaceutically equivalent as named brand drugs. They also have to be bioequivalent which I think is outstanding. I still cannot get over the fact that there is no significant difference between brand name and generic drugs. I am not surprised that so many people believe that generic drugs are not as good as name brand. I was very interested when the drug Coumadin was mentioned. It states in the video that this drug is a blood thinner, but I was always told that it affects the clotting factor of blood which people often get mixed up. Another reason this drug interested me is because I know individuals who are on Coumadin. It makes sense that pharmacist are more likely to know the difference between generic drugs and brand named drugs than physicians. Pharmacist work around these drugs all day and physicians just prescribe them.
Scott Baker (2 years ago)
WAIT - who is this Rachel person?
Adam Hetz (2 years ago)
How about defining the wiggle room concerning proving bioequivalence. The FDA allows for a large margin of difference between brand and generic "bioeqivalence".
Ben Barker (2 years ago)
I used to work as a case manager at a mental health clinic. When the usual medication changed shape or color or came from a different manufacturer compliance dropped through the floor. Trying to explain to a person with profound paranoid schizophrenia that the pill they have been taking for 25 years was now simply a different (blank) and NOT POISON is an argument very very difficult to win.
Ben Barker (2 years ago)
When is it appropriate to see "DAW" on a Rx?
Julia Henriques (2 years ago)
Of course the main reason why doctors prescribe reference drugs is because the farmaceutical industry pampers them. Free stuff to get the patients started, gifts, nice events in nice venues, regular visits from their representatives... It's just as bad as with baby food. Doctors are bought and sold everyday. Even if the FDA is far from perfect, their policy is spot on in this case.
David Colera (2 years ago)
Phenytoin efficacy was never fixed? This seems like a big issue, since AE drugs are so touchy it seems like a half-life change would be a reason for it to be taken off the shelf until it was fixed. Especially since the results could end in death.
PotionsMaster007 (2 years ago)
I just found this channel. This is great, clear and concise and cute animation. YouTube plus my uni lectures together make me so much more knowledgable when it comes to Medicine :)
TheDemofox (2 years ago)
Do you know how the approval process works in other countries?
icandodgebullets86 (2 years ago)
I work for a pharmaceutical company that specializes in branded drugs... I hope people stay dumb!!
Emiss (2 years ago)
+icandodgebullets86 oh! No, that was not my intention :)
icandodgebullets86 (2 years ago)
+Emiss I thought you making fun thinking I had misspelled branded ! lol sorry for the misunderstanding
Emiss (2 years ago)
+icandodgebullets86 If I didn't know how to read I wouldn't be able to type the password to my laptop. I was asking what the name of the company you work for. And I do apologize for typing 'banded' and not "branded". Maybe that confused you?
icandodgebullets86 (2 years ago)
+Emiss are u not able to read ?
Emiss (2 years ago)
+icandodgebullets86 "specializes in banded drugs"? What company?
Orion Fyre (2 years ago)
my father's prescription plan mandates he get his prescription through a single pharmacy chain. The problem with this model is that they keep switching generic manufactuters for his drug which is one of the narrow therapeutic range ones. for years they tried getting his levels right until I found out he was getting the generics. every other refill had a sticker saying "manufacturer change". I told his doctor to write it for the brand name and DAW. Every.single.god.damn.time. he goes to get his refills now the insurance company denies it requesting prior auth. its a god damn nightmare and situations like this are what lead to patient dissatisfaction with generics.
Orion Fyre (2 years ago)
I'll add that his sister is on the same medication, as a generic, but is well controlled because she uses a neighborhood pharmacist who makes sure he keeps the same manufacturer between her refills.
bshay513 (2 years ago)
Very well handled. This student pharmacist approves! (although I might have included discussion on synthroid vs. generic levothyroxine... that seems to be extremely controversial.)
Amanda B (2 years ago)
I have always wondered what the difference was between brand name medications and generics? I have always grown up using brand name medications and continue to still use brand name medications myself. It is good to know that brand name medications contain the same ingredients as the generic medications. Brand name also have the same strength and same dosage form like the generic medications. Friends have always thought that using brand name mdeications was "weird" or "not safe". This video shows all the reasons why that this isn't true.
Sparksbet (2 years ago)
This explains why my generic Ondansetron ODT tastes different than the brand-name Zofran ODT I got at the ER - the sugar coating on one was an inactive ingredient! So cool to know!
Paul Wheeler (2 years ago)
I live in the UK. I've only heard of warfarin. A couple of my friends are on it. I've not heard of Coumadin. Probably because the NHS only uses generic names. Big Pharma has less of a strangle hold as the NHS can keep prices low by placing *huge* orders for drugs and demanding big discounts. Only possible with a single payer system.
Nastassja Riemermann (2 years ago)
Aren't there cases where a drug has "excipients" that actually (potentially) have an additional effect, but the excipients in question isn't considered a drug by the FDA so it's not a required part of the generic? Like perhaps adding chamomile extract to diphenhydramine or something?
herranton1979 (2 years ago)
I think another possible culprit of the data suggesting that doctors are more likely to have a negative view of generic drugs are pharmaceutical sales reps. These people, who are usually very attractive, tend to give doctors expensive meals and travel perks (and god knows what else) for prescribing their drugs.
Feledain (2 years ago)
So thats why my doktor keeps saying i should stay with one brand for my antiepileptic meds. I had a rather "meh" stance to different brands because they all cost 5,55€ for me.
Isaac Levy (2 years ago)
Extended release medications have fewer safeguards. Generics do not have to use the same release mechanism. I recently switched between two generics for wellbutrin XL and swear one of them lasts longer. And it's not without precedent: several wellbutrin XL generics were recalled a couple years ago for bad release curves, a generic for concerta was blocked this summer.
liz chavez (2 years ago)
What you think about tea and essential oils?
Pikayumyums (2 years ago)
Store brand Froot Loops are, from my experience, the same crap in a different package. Don't diss my Frootie O's!
umer salim (2 years ago)
Tl;dr they're both the same. Go for the cheaper one
Ben Aaron (2 years ago)
Thanks for the thorough content.
bjkarana (2 years ago)
Back in college when I worked as a pharmacy tech at a chain drugstore, certain people would be upset if the lettering font stamped on their pill changed, which signified a different manufacturer (if the shape was the same). Having taken drug chemistry and pharmacology, I always got a kick out of it, but a lot of people still hold this belief.
Squanchy (2 years ago)
Tylenol also has a narrow therapeutic index, but most people don't notice.
Logan Graves (2 years ago)
Rachael haz screentime!  MOAR!
milowent (2 years ago)
very helpful video, thanks!
Yamil Hernandez (2 years ago)
You may want to correct your video. Not all generic's need to be proven "bioequivalent" in order to be approved. For example, some injectable drugs have this provision "waived" by the FDA.   See 21 CFR 320.22
epiccollision (2 years ago)
there is also another caveat ...timed released, extended release or other similar forms of long acting formulas are not always equivalent but need to be. Take Nexium for example while the generic Esomeprazole is chemically identical to the drug in Nexium; the process by which the brand is made into a extended release drug is not identical from brand to generic (also in Canada at least, Nexium is labelled as "Esomeprazole Magensium" due to the magnesium sparing as a side effect, generics don't mention magnesium at all) This is also found in generic forms of if other extended release formulations, the generic and the brand contain the same active ingredient but the process by which they make the drug "extended" is not always copied exactly and this can lead to adverse affects that are overlooked most of the time because the mantra Brand=Generic is so pervasive in the whole industry. I do admit however the chance of an adverse outcome are outliers but are significant to the people who are forced onto generics by either the government or their insurance and have to undertake a lengthy process to correct it. Sadly its usually for drug that even in a generic form are still very costly vs a brand that is priced way out of most peoples budgets.
Paul Schildgen (2 years ago)
Great video. Mostly applicable to small molecule drugs. Suggest discussing large molecule and biosimilars for a future video. Regardless, love what you're doing here.
Lyssandra Norton (2 years ago)
FREE HELLO KITTY
Kevin Nguyễn (2 years ago)
Generic asthma inhalers have a slightly rotten tangerine smell. They work just as well, but the smell is not something I want to deal with.

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