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Brand vs. Generic Costs

Brand vs. Generic Costs

Today's advertising makes you think there's a pill for everything. Studies show that a third of all patients will ask for a specific drug they've seen advertised. And nearly 80 percent of the time, the doctor will prescribe the requested brand. But you need to talk to your doctor about what prescription, if any, is right for you.

Make smart choices

Often, a change of lifestyle habits -- such as diet and exercise -- may be the answer instead of pills. But if you do need a prescription, it's important to make smart choices. Instead of the high-priced brand, there's a good chance an equally effective brand-name alternative or generic is available at a much lower cost.

Compare and save with generics

Generics are usually priced 30 to 75 percent less than equivalent brand-name versions. Why?

  • Because brand-name drugs invest large amounts of money to advertise and persuade you to buy their product
  • Because generic manufacturers spend less on advertising and product development
  • And because generic versions of the same medication create competition - and competition can drive prices down

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Page Modified:May 18, 2012