What is Generic medicine ?

A generic medicine is a copy of the original branded product. Once the patent for the original product has run out, the pharmaceutical company who developed the medicine no longer has the exclusive right to produce and distribute the medicine. Other pharmaceutical companies are able to create their own version of the medicine.

The type and quantity of the active ingredient in the generic product is the same as the branded version, but the inactive ingredients are slightly different. The generic medicine is sold under a different brand name and it may look different (e.g. in colour or shape) to the original.

Pseudo-generic medicines

A pseudo-generic product is not a remake of the original; it is an exact replica of the original. It is made by the same company with exactly the same ingredients in the same way. The only difference is the name and packaging.

These medicines are usually marketed by the same manufacturer at the same price as the original. Pharmaceutical companies make pseudo-generic products to combat true generics and to discourage competitor pharmaceutical companies from entering the market for that particular medicine.


Why switch to Generic ?

  • Generic drugs have the same active ingredient as their branded equivalent
  • Produces the same therapeutic effect
  • Generic drug is a copy of a brand-name drug
  • Has the same quality, same safety, same strength as the branded equivalent.
  • Generic Medications use the same ingredients and work the same in the body
  • Have the same risk to benefit profile
  • Delivers the same amount of active ingredient in the same time as the original drug
  • Both brand name and generic drugs are approved by the FDA and must meet the same FDA standards for quality
  • Generic Drug is “bioequivalent” to the brand-name drug
  • Active ingredient works in the same way as in the branded medication
  • The active ingredient works in the same amount of time


Why are Generic Medications Cheap?

The drugs no longer are protected by patents, there is an increase of competition among producers as there are several producers manufacturing the same medication under different trade names.

Companies that manufacture generic medications incur fewer costs in creating the generic drug as several costs such as drug discovery, research and development, clinical trials etc are not required.

Generic manufacturers also do not bear the costs associated with proving the safety and efficacy of the drugs through clinical trials, since these trials have already been conducted by the brand name company that held the patent for the same.

  • Costs of Generic Medications are very low and affordable to even low income groups
  • Generic Medications are a low cost alternative to branded drugs and provide us with exactly the same benefit.
  • Using Generic Medications is therefore a smart choice.
© The Swiss Pharmacy, Geneva Switzerland


Differences between generic and branded medicines are important for people who have allergies and intolerances to some of the inactive ingredients used to make the medicine. Therefore it is very important to discuss any allergies you may have with your doctor and pharmacist before you take any medication, and before you switch from using a brand-name medicine to a generic medicine or vice versa.