Generic vs Branded Drugs: Which One to Choose?


Most people are used to purchasing medications from a popular supplier. However, at times, you want to explore additional options as well. Generic Medications can be one such option. Not only do they provide the same benefits as branded drugs but they also help you cut down your prescription drug costs significantly.


Are Generic vs Branded Drugs:


Generic medications are required to meet some specific standards before they’re approved by the FDA. Typically, generic medications are required to fulfill the same criteria as other drugs from popular brands.


When a generic drug is approved by FDA, they ensure it has the same quality, strength, and active ingredients as a branded drug. Both need to have same dosage, stability levels, safety, effectiveness, and method of intake. As a result, most people are able to switch to a generic medication whenever they want.


Although you can see some differences between these two types of drugs, nevertheless they can be overlooked. For example, the FDA has allowed these medications to have varying inactive elements (that have zero therapeutic effect). These elements may affect your absorption rate slightly (although FDA wants it to stay at a minimal level) & also change the appearance of the medication (color, size, packaging, and shape). The important thing is, it also lets them have a varying cost, making prescription medications quite affordable for folks with a tight budget.


How Does it Help Seniors On Medicare?


As generic medications are likely to be more affordable than their branded counterparts, they are often preferred by insurance policies that feature coverage of prescription drugs, including Medicare Part-D prescription plans & MA (Medicare Advantage) plans. Both these plans typically put generic medications in lower tiers as compared to branded medications in the formulary. This ultimately reduces the cost of generic medications.

Using affordable drugs also allow you to avoid the donut hole, also known as the coverage gap. In the donut hole, 56% of the generic medication costs will be covered by Medicare while you will have to pay the remaining 44%. The amount you’ll pay will drop each year until 2020 when it will be reduced down to 25%.


Does Medicare Supplement Plans Cover Prescription Drugs?


Even though a few Medigap plans that were sold previously covered prescription medications, you must note that Medigap policies that were sold after 1st Jan 2006 can no longer cover these costs. So, people looking to cover prescription drug costs might want to consider Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage for this.