What is a generic medicine?

A generic medicine contains the same active ingredient/s and has the same dose strength as the original medicine.3a Because generic medicines work in the same way in the body, they are interchangeable and used in place of original brand name medicines.2a,3a Generic medicines are subject to the same stringent controls as original branded products. In fact branded and generic medicines are sometimes made by the same company.3a

Adcock Ingram Generics supply a variety of quality generic medication in various disease areas, including pain medication, medication to treat cardiovascular (heart) conditions, anti-retroviral medication, anti-infective medication, medication for skin conditions and many more.

Find out more about generic medicines by exploring a complete list of our frequently asked and answered questions below.

Generic medicines must comply with the same stringent controls of quality and efficacy as the original brand name medicines.2a In fact, generics and their originals are often manufactured by the same company.3a Generic medicines contain the same active ingredient at the same dose strength and work in the same way in the body as the originals.2b Although there may be differences in size, shape, colour or pack size, none of these have any impact on the way generics work.2b,3c Given the fact that use of generic medicines can lead to substantial cost savings, general practitioners, specialists and hospitals increasingly use generics as alternatives to higher-priced original medicines.1a,2c
Generic medicines have their own invented names.3d 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.2b There may also be differences in size, shape, colour or pack size, but none of these have any impact on the way they work.2b,3c
In South Africa, all generic medicines must be approved by the South African Healthcare 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).3e 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.3f,4a
  • Generics offer substantial cost savings without compromising on efficacy.1b,4b
  • Greater savings allow more efficient use of your medical aid benefits.4b
  • Greater savings also frees up money to pay for other, more expensive treatments and services that you may need.2d
  • Lower priced medicines encourage more healthy competition in the market.4b
  • Generics offer you the opportunity to exercise your rights as a consumer.4b
Generic medicines contain the same active ingredients as the original medicine, however, they are considerably less expensive because they cost less to develop and manufacture.1b,h,3b Another reason why generic companies can keep prices down is because they spend less money on promoting and marketing their medicines.3h 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
Adcock Ingram has a proud heritage of trust spanning more than 125 years. Adcock Ingram manufactures generic medicines which are registered for quality, safety and efficacy. Adcock Ingram is one of South Africa’s leading manufacturers of generic medicines. Our product list includes treatments for the most commonly occurring diseases and disorders and we have several generics that have become leaders in the generic category. Adcock Ingram strives to bring you affordable generic medicines of the highest quality. We believe in adding value to you and your loved ones and therefore offer a range of quality medicines which you can depend on.
The Medicines Control Amendment Act which came into force on May 2, 2003, places a legal obligation on person dispensing the medicine, either the pharmacist or the doctor, to inform patients of generic medicine options.4g You have the power to choose which generic you want. Make sure that it is not just any generic, but an Adcock Ingram Generic.
Adcock Ingram Generics are available in the following disease areas:
  • Antiretrovirals (ARVs)
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Pain
  • Conditions affecting the central nervous system (CNS)
  • Dermatology conditions
Speak to your healthcare professional about the effectiveness of generic medicines and how they can help reduce the cost of medicine to you.