Defining Generic & Drug Brand Names

Defining Generic & Drug Brand Names

Doctors are encouraged to prescribe by using the generic name. This is because:

  • The generic name is the one doctors are trained to use. There are sometimes many brand (trade) names for one medicine. Possible confusion or mistakes are reduced if all doctors use the same names when talking about and prescribing medicines.
  • Generic medicines are often cheaper for the NHS. Even for medicines that you can buy, such as paracetamol, there is often a big price difference between brands.

Today, nearly 8 in 10 prescriptions filled in the United States are for generic drugs. The use of generic drugs is expected to grow over the next few years as a number of popular drugs come off patent.

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