Insights | Five myths about generic drugs

Tomado de Semana


Five myths about generic drugs

According to the Pharmaceutical Chamber of the National Association of Entrepreneurs (ANDI), currently generic drugs represent 12% of the total drug market in Colombia with a growth projection for the next few years. However, in the popular imagination there are a whole series of erroneous beliefs about these types of products that lack an endorsement brand.

Here are the main myths that Colombians have about generic drugs, identified by INVIMA and the La Santé Laboratories research area:

  1. They are of low quality: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), generic drugs are just as safe and effective as brand-name drugs, and bioequivalence studies support this claim. Bioequivalence is the ratio of two or more pharmaceutical products that are pharmaceutical equivalents and show identical bioavailability. Both generic and brand-name drugs work the same way in the body.
  2. Little effective components: All drugs that are marketed in Colombia with authorization from the National Institute for Food and Drug Surveillance (INVIMA), have the same amount of active ingredient and their dissolution and absorption speed in the body is the same. The raw materials used for the manufacture of generic drugs also have a series of international standards (WHO Certification System for the Quality of Pharmaceutical Products).
  3. They are as expensive as brand name drugs: Brand name drugs are more expensive because they include production, research and development costs that raise the selling price. Generic drugs, for their part, have lower promotional costs and are based on a known molecule that implies a shorter R&D (research and development), they are marketed at a lower price.
  4. They generate resistance to microorganisms: Microorganisms do not identify brands, but rather the active principle or the molecule, and this resistance develops due to a wrong administration of the drug, mainly by self-medication.
  5. They are only for mild illnesses: One of the most deeply held beliefs is that generic drugs are only effective for mild illnesses or low-complexity treatments. However, the reality is that there are generics for diseases as complex as cancer with similar levels of efficacy as brand-name drugs.