Many people do not understand the difference between generic and brand-name medications. 90 percent of prescriptions filled in the United States are for generic medications, but 74 percent of prescription spending is attributed to brand-name drugs.
Generic drugs can be an important money-saving tool, but not all drugs are available in generic form. Drugs that reflect the pharmaceutical industry’s newest research are only available as brand-name medications. Brand-name medications are often requested specifically by doctors who want their patients to receive the best care.
Prescription Hope fights back against the huge cost of brand-name prescription drugs by utilizing patient assistance programs. They are a service-based program that works directly with pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide medications to patients for a flat-rate service fee of $50 a month per prescription drug.
The company explains how generic medications and brand-name prescriptions work and how they can help get consumers the best deal on prescription prices.
What Are Generic Drugs?
Generic drugs are chemical copies of the brand-name versions. They offer identical safety, benefits, quality, strength, and effectiveness to the brand-name medication. Generics are up to 85 percent less expensive than their brand-name counterparts.
A generic drug often looks different than its brand-name counterpart. The medication may be a different color, shape, and size when compared to the brand-name version, but the active ingredients are the same. The drug must work identically to the brand-name counterpart, even when manufactured by a different company.
The main reason that generic drugs are less expensive than their brand-name counterparts is that the long approval process for a brand-name drug is shortened by a great deal for the generic version. This means that drugmakers pay much less to have a generic drug approved, and they pass these savings along to their customers.
Most generics are made outside the United States. Countries like India, China, and Ireland are three of the leading countries that manufacture generics.
Are Generics Safe?
Generic medications meet the same quality standards as their brand-name counterparts. Generic drug manufacturers need to prove that their medications are bioequivalent to the original brand-name version. This means that generic drugs work identically and have the same benefits as brand-name drugs.
The federal Food and Drug Administration monitors drug safety. It keeps tabs on drug manufacturing factories throughout the world. The safety of generics is also monitored after these drugs have gone to market.
Recently, there have been several cases of generic and over-the-counter medications being recalled. Zantac, a prescription taken for heartburn, and a few blood pressure medications have been recalled due to containing trace amounts of chemicals that could cause cancer.
Which Do Prescribers Prefer?
A good question to consider is when both generics and brand-name medications are offered, which do doctors prefer?
Some doctors would rather prescribe brand-name medications and require that the brand-name medication be given at the pharmacy even when a generic equivalent is available. For example, some brand-name drugs have extended-release versions that are not available as generics.
In rare cases, a patient may not be able to take the generic medication because they have difficulty with the form in which it is presented.
Why Are Brand-Name Drugs So Expensive?
Discussing the cost savings of generic drugs is beneficial when a generic is available, but for many patients, only brand-name drugs are available for their specific medical needs. High co-pays often trap patients who must take brand-name medications. The newest medications may not be covered by insurance at all.
The reason why brand-name drugs are so expensive is that the FDA allows manufacturers to patent them. The agency also provides drugmakers hold protections on exclusivity. This means that generic equivalents cannot be made before the patent period has ended. This allows drug manufacturers to profit from their investments for many years.
How Prescription Hope Can Help
When you are prescribed a brand-name drug that you cannot afford, it is common to feel upset. Your medication could be life-saving, and, unfortunately, insurance companies and drug manufacturers keep out-of-pocket costs so high. This is where a program like Prescription Hope comes in. With this program, you can get brand-name medications for an affordable monthly price.
The program works with pharmaceutical manufacturers and doctors to send you your medications each month by mail order. To sign up, patients need to provide a form of income verification. Lower-income people are more likely to qualify for the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s patient assistance programs.
The company does all of the difficult legwork to get your affordable monthly prescription price. You will no longer have to fight with your doctor and the pharmacy to get the medications you need at a price you can afford.
Why the Company Was Founded
Douglas Pierce, the Founder, and CEO knows how the exorbitant cost of brand-name drugs can hurt families across the United States. His mother was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition and could not afford her medications. Pierce was able to research to find a drugmaker’s assistance program for his mother.
He was motivated to found his company because getting assistance from the drugmakers was so difficult. He decided that he wanted to help patients apply for these programs and take all of the efforts out of saving on brand-name prescription drugs.
Saving Money With Safe Medications
When you can’t afford your prescriptions, it is frightening and discouraging. Many people who need to take brand-name medications have copays that number in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. People with lower incomes cannot afford the medicines they need, and their health may suffer.
Prescription Hope was founded to help with this problem. For $50 per month per medication, the company will deal with all of the details of filling a prescription and shipping it directly to you. Douglas Pierce takes your concerns seriously, and he is continually working to make brand-name drugs more accessible.