Generic, Name Brand and Compounded Medication - What's the Difference?
When you need over-the-counter or prescription drugs for a health issue, your main options include name brand and generic ones. While these are the choices you’re most likely familiar with, there’s another option to consider. Compounding pharmacies offer another way for you to get medication for your health issues that differ from what you’ll get with generic or name brand drugs.
Generic vs. Name Brand
What are the differences and similarities between generic and name brand medications? These drugs have the following in common:
They provide the same treatment: The FDA compares these drugs to determine if they offer the same active ingredients, dosages, form and strength. Generic drugs must match name brand drugs in order for the FDA to approve them.
They’re tested for bioequivalence: The FDA also tests generic drugs to see if they act the same as name brand drugs when they’re in your bloodstream.
Generic and name brand drugs differ in the following ways:
They might have different inactive ingredients: Generic drugs must have the same active ingredients as name brand ones, but they’re allowed to have different inactive ingredients.
They have different packaging: The packaging they come in usually differs regarding its overall style.
They might look different: Generic drugs might not look the same as name brand ones, but this doesn't affect how well they work.
Compounding pharmacies provide a wider range of options when it comes to medications since they focus on customization. These pharmacies are able to work outside of the agreements that corporate pharmacies have with drug manufacturers. This provides them with more freedom to offer customized medications with lower prices, at different dosages, in different forms, and in different combinations.
Compounding pharmacies can customize commercial, name brand medications and generic ones in order to provide patients with personalized treatment. They do not create exact copies of commercially available medications, which is forbidden by law. Instead, they provide patients with modified forms as needed. They can also offer patients formulations that drug manufacturers have discontinued. Compounding pharmacies are also able to create different forms of medications for patients, such as gels, topical creams, tablets and even lollipops. These different forms can make medications easier for patients to take.
If you’re looking for customized medications with a lower cost, keep compounding pharmacies in mind as an option. You’ll get more personalized treatment than you would with generic or name brand drugs while still taking high-quality medication.
If you’d like to learn more about compounding pharmacies, please contact Arena District Pharmacy to speak with a pharmacist. We are a locally owned and operated compounding pharmacy that serves customers in the Columbus area. Tony Buchta, the owner of Arena District Pharmacy, is on-site and can answer your questions.