Generic medicines are copies of an original branded medicine.
What’s the difference between a generic and brand-name drug? Generic medicines are copies of an original branded medicine. The products have the same ingredients. A generic drug must have the same active ingredients, strength, and dosage form e.g. pill, liquid, or injection. The generic drug also must be therapeutically equivalent—it must be chemically the same and have the same medical effect. They work in the same way in the body and are associated with the same risks and benefits of the original medicine.
Are generic medicines as effective as branded?
Generic medicines are produced by companies who are subject to the same tight controls as companies who make branded products. The reason generic companies can make the medication cheaper is because they do not have all the initial research and development costs the originator company has.
Groups of medicines that are the same will be given a set price by the HSE, called a reference price, which will usually be lower than the cost of the branded product. Due to these HSE rules your pharmacist may now try to switch you to the generic version of your regular medicine. This is designed to save medicine costs for you and for the taxpayer.