Generic drug

A prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medicine that has the same active ingredient as a brand-name version that’s on the market. Generic drugs often are a lower-cost option to their brand-name versions. They can be identical to the brand-name drug or a:

  • generic equivalent: it’s similar to the brand-name drug and has the same active ingredient, but has different inactive ingredients.
  • generic alternative: it has a different active ingredient from the brand-name drug, but a similar clinical effect on the body.

You can find out more about generic drugs from the US Food and Drug Administration.

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