Generic alternatives for medication prescribed are widely available. In a bid to lower South Africa’s medicine costs, legislation regarding mandatory generic substitution was implemented in 2003. This law compels pharmacists or dispensing doctors to offer patients a generic alternative for any medicine prescribed.4a,b
The question is thus relevant: is generic medication as effective as the original?
Generic alternatives for medication prescribed are widely available. In a bid to lower South Africa’s medicine costs, legislation regarding mandatory generic substitution was implemented in 2003. This law compels pharmacists or dispensing doctors to offer patients a generic alternative for any medicine prescribed.4a,b The question is thus relevant: is generic medication as effective as the original?
Generic medicines have their own inventive names, but contain the same active ingredient/s and have the same dose strength as the original medicine.3a,b Because generic medicines work in the same way in the body, they are interchangeable and used in place of original brand name medicines.1a,3a Although they contain the same active ingredient as the brand name medicine, they may contain different non-active ingredients, such as colourings, starches, sugars, etc.2a There may also be differences in size, shape, colour or pack size, but none of these have any impact on the way they work.1a,2a
Generic medicines must comply with the same stringent controls of quality and efficacy as the original brand name medicines. In fact, generics and their originals are often manufactured by the same company.2b, 3c Once the generic medicine becomes available the manufacturer is also obliged to monitor for reports of any adverse events, as is the case for original medicines.2b In South Africa, all generic medicines must be approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), previously known as the Medicines Control Council (MCC), in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act (101 of 1965).3d SAHPRA employs a team of scientists who check that generic medicines adhere to the same quality, efficacy and safety standards as the original brand name medicine.1b,3e
Generic medicines usually become available after the patent of an original brand has expired. They are considerably less expensive than the original brands because they cost less to develop and manufacture.3f,g,4b Another reason why generic companies can keep prices down is because they spend less money on promoting and marketing their medicines.3g In 2009, a study conducted in South Africa assessed the potential savings that would be achievable by substituting generics for original brand name medicines prescribed for chronic conditions.5a When compared to 80 original medicines, generic versions cost 19.5 % to 97 % less, which amounted to an average saving of 50 %.5b While the use of generics can lead to substantial cost savings, it is estimated that only approximately 45 % of original brand name medicines are substituted for less expensive generics.4b,c
Generic medicine offers substantial cost savings without compromising on efficacy.3c,e,4b These savings allow more efficient use of your medical aid benefits and also free up money to pay for more expensive treatments or services that you may need.2c,3h
Adcock Ingram is one of South Africa’s leading manufacturers of generic medicines with a heritage of trust which spans over 125 years. Adcock Ingram manufactures generic medicines which are registered for quality, safety and efficacy, and our product list includes treatments for the most commonly occurring diseases and disorders.
Generics offer you the opportunity to exercise your rights as a consumer.1c You have the power to choose. Make sure it is not just any generic, but an Adcock Ingram Generic.